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Why Lily’s relations with her mother are so difficult? How do they change throughout the novel “The Secret Life of Bees”?
Lily Melissa Owens, fourteen year old girl, the main character and narrator of her story. She never knew for love or kindness living with her abusive father since the age of four. That was the last time she saw her mother, Deborah. She was attending her parents argument and took a gun her mother had dropped on the floor. That moment when she accidentally killed her mother, had changed her life.
She had a vague memory about that day and it hunted her for years. She needed explanation and conclusion so that she could find her path and move on. Her father had filled her head with untrue stories about her mother wanting to leave her and her guilt for killing her grows. “She was all I wanted. And I took her away.”(Chapter 1, page 16)
Lily is very attached to her nanny Rosaleen and in order to find her path and forgiveness, she runs away with her to Tilburn, South Carolina in hope to find out more about Deborah. There they meet a local black family of sisters called Boatrights who helped Lily to become a strong and independent woman.
With time she releases herself from pain and anger she had felt for her mother thinking she didn’t want her. For ten years she had a hole inside her and didn’t want to become someone who is stuck in the past with eternal pain and anger like her father. Lily was longing for her freedom. With a help of new people in her life she finds it. Realizing how much her mother had loved her, leads her towards her new beginning.
Kidd, Sue Monk, November 8th 2001, “The Secret Life of Bees”, United States, New York, NY, Penguin Books, Chapter 1, Page 16