Whenever May Boatwright hears about something tragic in the world, she writes it down on a piece of paper and slips the paper into the cracks of a stone wall near her house. It’s clear that the stone wall symbolizes the slow, sad accumulation of pain in May’s mind, and indeed the potential for suffering to build up in anyone’s psychology. Since most of the tragedies May responds to are race-related (the imprisonment of Zach, for example), the stone wall also takes on a more specific symbolic meaning: it stands for the horrors of the African-American experience in America.
The Stone Wall Quotes in The Secret Life of Bees
I walked the length of the fence, and it was the same all the way, hundreds of these bits of paper. I pulled one out and opened it, but the writing was too blurred from rain to make out. I dug another one. Birmingham, Sept 15, four little angels dead.