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 is going to send a rocket to the moon—an action that August fears will destroy the moon’s mystique. Kidd uses this historical detail to convey the purity and mystery of being a woman—a purity that deteriorates whenever women come into contact with men (symbolized by a threatening, phallic rocket).
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Moon appears in The Secret Life of Bees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.