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Analysis of Lily in The Secret Life of Bees - Research Paper Example

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Lily is a 14 year old girl who has been referred to family counseling by her adopted family. Family services provide low-cost mental health services to the community. Lily currently lives with her adopted family which includes three sisters: May, June and August Boatwright…
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Analysis of Lily in The Secret Life of Bees
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"Analysis of Lily in The Secret Life of Bees"

Download file to see previous pages The Boatwright’s own a successful honeybee farm and make “the best honey in the state”. Another woman, Rosaleen also lives in the home. Rosaleen was Lily’s housekeeper and caregiver in her home prior to their arrival at the Boatwright’s home. Lily has been wracked with guilt because at the age of four, she accidentally killed her mother when her mother and father were fighting. Her mother was going to shoot her father to stop him from hurting her, but she dropped the gun. Lily picked up the gun, and in an attempt to help her mother, fired the gun; unfortunately, her mother was killed instead of her father. Lily stayed with her father who was abusive to her. As an example, when she would do something against his rules, he would make her kneel on grits for up to an hour for her punishment. On her 14th birthday, Lily asked her father to tell her more about her mother, and he states that her mother left them and wanted nothing to do with her. Lily did not want to accept this information and after her father is particularly abusive, she runs away, taking Rosaleen with her. Lily has spent several months with the Boatwrights and she has seen many things happen. Lily lives in South Carolina in 1964, which was a tumultuous time for black people. Because the three sisters are black, and because Lily does not agree with the way that the southern people treat blacks, she has seen two other traumas in her life. The first was when Rosaleen poured tobacco juice on a white man’s foot and then would not apologize. They beat Rosaleen and arrested her, putting her in jail. During the time she was in jail, she was also beaten and sent to the hospital. It was at that point that Lily finds Rosaleen and they leave. The second traumatic event was when Lily went to the movies and sat in the black section with her friend Zack. Because Zack is black, he was taken out of the balcony for sitting with a white girl, beaten and then he disappeared; eventually he was brought back to the Boatright’s with some of his spirit broken. Another trauma in her life happened when May Boatwright learned about Zach’s disappearance; she committed suicide. Lily has taken all of these incidents as proof that she is a bad person and that she “brings the bad things in.” The Boatright’s and Rosaleen are concerned about this and have brought Lily to counseling to help her move forward with her life. Lily is a very loving child and she is looking for someone to love her. She does not feel that her father T Ray loves her because of his mistreatment of her. Presenting Problems When Lily came to the Boatwright’s she was hiding the information about her mother because she knew that these women may have known her mother. Lily asked for a place to stay and to work so that she and Rosaleen could go to an Aunt’s house; she also said that they she was an orphan. Lily reports that she often has flashbacks (she calls them dreams) about her mother’s death. She says that she can have these dreams during the day or at night and that they happen when she is feeling stressed or when something happens to trigger these dreams. As an example, when she was asked if she wanted some grits, she quickly says no because she only knows them as a punishment. Although Lily is consumed by guilt for killing her mother, she is also feeling abandoned by her mother at the same time, because of what her father, T Ray has told her. She does not feel that she is loved by anyone, and she goes to the Boatwright’s to see if they know whether her mother loved her. Lily firmly believes that she took her mother away from her when she killed her. In her words, "I killed my mother when I was four years old, that’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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