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The Importance Of Forgiveness In The Novel The Secret Life Of Bees

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Is Forgiveness the key to a happy and fulfilling life? This essay will help you understand if forgiving yourself helps you on living your best life through The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. The Secret Life of Bees is set during The Civil Rights Movement. The main character, Lily Owens struggles throughout the book on forgiving herself on her mother’s death. When Lily was three, she overheard her mom and T-Ray fighting, Lily found a gun and shot her mother. Lily runs away from her abusive father T-Ray with her colored maid Rosealean. Throughout their voyage hoping to find a better place to live, they find a group of colored women to stay with. Finding the Boatwrights was one of the biggest steps on helping Lily forgiving herself. August, one of the Boatwright sisters, acts as a mother towards Lily and gives Lily the love she seeking.

Sue Monk Kidd suggests that learning to forgive is key to having a fulfilling life. Until Lily forgives herself about the accident that resulted in the death of her mother, she will continue to live a depressing and unfulfilling life. After years of living with her abusive dad, Lily feels that being dead would be a happier life for her. She is deprived of the feeling of love and being cared for, which is the main cause of her suicidal thoughts. “That night I lay in bed and thought about dying and going to be with my mother in paradise. I would meet her saying, mother,forgive,please forgive.”(Kidd pg 3) Lily feels that her dying would result in a much happier life for her and everyone around her. Lily is living an abusive life with her father T-Ray, T-Ray doesn’t only physically abuses her, he also emotionally abuses her by telling her wrongs about her mother. Lily lives a life where her mother’s death is holding her down on every action she does, if Lily could forgive herself she would be able to live her life without a weight on her at all times.When Lily express her feelings towards August she gets into why it would be easier to give up on everything and just be with her mother.“People who think dying is the worst thing don’t know a thing about life.” This is an important quote because Lily’s life has been greatly affected by the accident with her mother. This statement suggests that living with someone else’s death on your hand can be more painful than dying, thus making it hard to forgive herself.

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Once Lily can understand that love can be created in a place where there was once hate, she can learn to forgive. T-ray was anything but paternal to Lily. The word paternal is to have a characteristic of a father which T-Ray lacks. “Daddy never fit him”(pg 2) Lily needs to realize that love comes in a variety of ways. T-Ray makes it obvious that he doesn’t like to show his love to anyone causing Lily’s depression , she needs to see that he has gone through many rough times. Once she understands that you can turn hate into love she can forgive him for all the wrongs. When August says there’s plenty of different ways of saying Love in Eskmo, she is hinting on the ways T-Ray loves Lily.“There are 32 names for love in the Eskimo language.”(pg 140) August is saying this because in the past, Lily has assumed that if you don’t show love how she thinks it is supposed to be you don’t really love her. T-Ray obviously isn’t open about his love about Lily, and Lily could see that she could forgive him about everything he did.

Sue Monk Kidd expressise that the key to having a happy and enjoyable life is being able to forgive yourself, Lily finds forgiveness by the Boutrights and black Marry.

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The Importance Of Forgiveness In The Novel The Secret Life Of Bees. (2021, September 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
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