The Secret Life of Bees


Sue Monk Kidd

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The Secret Life of Bees Symbols


The most obvious symbols in The Secret Life of Bees are the bees themselves. Kidd makes it clear from the start that she’s drawing an analogy between the behavior of bees and the behavior of…

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The Black Virgin Mary

One of the most evocative symbols in The Secret Life of Bees is the picture (and later the statue) of the black Virgin Mary that the Boatwright family idolizes. As August Boatwright explains, there’s a…

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The Color Blue

At several points, Kidd reminds us that Lily Owen’s favorite color is blue—in fact, when she calls her father, she makes a point of asking him about this. It’s no coincidence that Lily likes…

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The Stone Wall

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…

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The Moon

Traditionally, the moon has been associated with women, and Kidd recognizes this throughout the book, as the moon is one of the most conspicuous symbols of femininity. At one point, we’re told that President Kennedy…

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