I agree with Abigail that this book embodies the romantic aspirations, not just of Lily, but every character in the book.  Rather than the matieralistic dreams shown in The Great Gatsby, characters of The Secret Life of Bees strive for love and adoration.  Lily longs to be accepted by a pseudo family of any sort and finds that love in the calendar girls.  The Boatwright sisters themselves seek love among themselves and to strengthen the familial bonds as well as love among the Daughters of Mary and others around them.  They are open and non-judgemental in their individual ways, May and August being the most conspicuous in their openness.

Most importantly, T. Ray seeks love.  Though he appears to be a cold-hearted, unloving father, the pain and suffering from his past covers up his true intentions to love his daughter and get past his deceased wife.  He hides his anger through hostility and anger which makes Lily feel unloved.  The true intention of his enigmatic dream is to forgive his daughter, move on from the past, and be able to love again.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Emily,
    You highlight the importance of family that is placed in the novel. Why do you think Kidd develops the plot so focused on the importance of family? This novel has many layers of conflict and struggle within it, and each layer reveals something about family. What purpose does this serve?

  2. I agree with Emily T. Rays yearning for love is seen through his anger. His anger comes from the separation from his wife and from her accidental death. Lily gets the brunt of this situation feeling guilt for her mother’s death and the anger from T. Rays resentment. The thought of her mother gives her a feeling of being loved and having her things creates a sort of peace for her.

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