“I grew up in the South under segregation. So, I know what terrorism feels like – when your father could be taken out in the middle of the night and lynched just because he didn’t look like he was in an obeying frame of mind when a white person said something he must do. I mean, that’s terrorism, too.” (Alice Walker) Segregation was a period where people were separated by race. The Secret Life of Bees is revolved around the life of a 14-year-old white girl, Lily Owens, The Secret Life of Bees takes place in a small town in South Carolina in 1964, Lily’s life is dramatically changed around the cloudy memories of her mother and the day her mother was killed. Lily lives in a house with her abusive father. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the most important civil rights laws in the history of the United States. It helped reduce discrimination, ended racial segregation, and protected the voting rights of many people. In the novel The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd touches on the social topics of discrimination, loyalty, and judgment in 1960 Southern America.
The Secret Life of Bees covers on social topics such as discrimination in 1960 Sylvan, South Carolina. Discrimination is shown in the novel when spending the week at the Boatwright house with Rosaleen, Lily overhears June making comments about her skin color. Lily says, “This was a great revelation- not that I was white but that it seemed like June might not want me here because of my skin color. I hadn’t known this was possible- to reject people for being white.” (Kidd,87) Lily finally realizes what it feels like to be discriminated by the color of your skin. Lily didn’t know other races could feel just as injustice towards white people. She felt irritated because June was judging her without previous knowledge of who she was. June most likely only had rough experiences with people of different skin colors which ultimately made her believe all white people are wicked. The social topic of discrimination is covered in The Secret Life of Bees and relates to the 1960 segregation because both African Americans and Americans would be discriminated against by the color of their skin.
The Secret Life of Bees covers on social topics such as loyalty in 1960 Sylvan, South Carolina. Loyalty is shown in the novel when Zach explains to Lily, “He was trying to say to me, I’m sorry, but these are my friends. He chose to stand there and be one of them”. (Kidd,179)
Zach’s black friends insult the white men and one of his friends throws a bottle at the white men which hit somebody in the nose. Zach and his friends will not reveal which boy threw the bottle and they are all taken to jail which indicates how loyal they are for one another. Since the white men were being racist to Zach and his friends, one of Zach’s friends decides to throw the bottle at them. The social topic of loyalty is covered in The Secret Life of Bees and relates to the 1960 segregation because African Americans were loyal to each other.
The Secret Life of Bees covers on social topics such as judgment in 1960 Sylvan, South Carolina. While staying at the Boatwright house with Rosaleen, Lily is being judged by June and did not want her there and would tell the authorities about Lily. June is explaining why Lily can’t stay by saying, “we can’t keep a runaway girl here without letting somebody know”. (Kid,86) Lily is being judged by June and Lily felt irritated because June was judging her without previous knowledge of who she was. With June doing this, Lily would be forced to go back to her abusive father T.Ray. The social topic of judgement is covered in The Secret Life of Bees and relates to the 1960 segregation because both African Americans and Americans would be judged by the color of their skin.
To conclude, Sue Monk Kidd illustrates the social topics of discrimination, loyalty, and judgment throughout the novel The Secret Life of Bees. Kidd portrayed these social topics through the rough segregation period in her novel. Lily at the end of the novel forgives her abusive father, continue living at the Boatwright house and develops into a loved and loving person. African Americans worked hard for several years to get equal rights a dream to reality. Today African Americans have the same rights as every other ethnicity. No longer segregated schools, transportation facilities, or any other public places. Everyone is allowed to vote and everyone is paid equally.