The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd

"Mother, forgive. Please forgive."

This specific quote shows one of Lily's major traits, her yearning for a mother figure. She is raised by her father whom isn't a very respectable man. She has questions unanswered and has a deeply seeded loneliness building inside of her; all of this is amplified by the fact that she blames herself for her mother's demise.

"My first and only memory of my mother was the day she died."

Lily obviously had more memories of her mother than what she remembers. Her mother wasn't missing, and considering that Lily is only 14 and her earliest memory of Deborah is when she if 4. This means that she most likely blocked out earlier memories, this could be out of pain but it could also be a form of self punishment, a way for her to atone for any guilt she may feel. By torturing herself with the memories of the day of her mother's passing, maybe she is hoping she will find closure, or perhaps she is just attempting to hurt herself due to her heavy feelings of regret.

"The oddest things caused me to miss her. Like training bras."

This quote puzzled me and yet I found it incredibly intriguing. The loss of Lily's mother wasn't superficial, it hurt her deeply. But the pain isn't just in her longing for her mother, it also comes from her simple lack of maternal guidance. Her father is not one you would ask for advice, but even if she did he wouldn't know anyways. This causes Lily to confide in Rosaleen thus strengthening their relationship with each other.
Ian St. John

4A - 4/10/2014