Issues of Responsibility and Forgiveness in the Secret Lives of Bees - Essay Example

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This essay discusses the themes of forgiveness and responsibility that are abundant in "The Secret Lives of Bees". In many ways, the two themes are tied together as forgiveness often cannot come without taking responsibility for one’s actions or one’s own life. …
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Issues of Responsibility and Forgiveness in the Secret Lives of Bees
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Download file to see previous pages The theme of a need for forgiveness is presented immediately in chapter 1 as Lily suffers from extreme guilt after killing her mother. This guilt is demonstrated as at night she dreams of dying and meeting her mother in heaven and begging for her mother’s forgiveness, though Lily doubts that her mother could ever forgive her for murder. Losing one’s mother is traumatic for any child, but feeling responsible for that death is an unimaginable burden.
As Lily struggles to come to terms with not knowing her mother she “sets out on a journey to learn about her estranged mother and learns about herself in the process”. Throughout the story, Lily searches for a mother figure. Rosaleen fills this void for her though she is no blood relation. However, as she has no strong parental figure and has trouble finding self-identity, she needs a woman role model to help her discover herself and her femininity as she approached adolescence. Rosaleen was the only woman in her life and Lily stressed over how she would grown and mature and learn without a mother.
In conclusion, though Rosaleen was in her life, Lily yearned to find out more about her mom and since she could not learn this information from T. Ray, she knew she must journey on her own. This need for fulfillment is what does finally drive her away from home “and her guilty hunger for parental love is the emotional axis of the novel.” (Morey). At one point, when she realizes her mother’s mother could be alive and she would have a grandmother she was very excited. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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