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The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd transports readers to the hot South Carolina summer of 1964 just after the Civil Rights Act had been signed It follows the adventure of a fourteen year old girl named Lily Owens who has a dead mother and a father who blames her for it When trouble comes her way Lily escapes town with her housekeeper Rosaleen right by her side They are led to the Boatwright household by one of the few things Lily still possesses from her mother a Black Madonna Honey label As Lily hunts for facts about her mother she makes an even greater discovery She learns from example how to be a strong and self-reliant young woman Although up to this point Lily has never had a mother figure in her life she is given the opportunity to take part in an almost mother-daughter type bond between herself and the three Boatwright sisters who are the epitome of what a strong mother should be These amazing women give Lily a chance to think for herself for once and make her own decisions The power of feminism is demonstrated throughout this novel by the actions of different characters as well as symbolsThe main character Lily shows strong feminist traits through the entirety of The Secret Life of Bees Even in the beginning of the story before the most crucial parts of Lilys character development take place she has a natural sense of boldness and an instinct to follow her own heart When Lilys father T Ray threatens to take away what she holds most dear her mothers final belongings she decides to hide them away and to keep them a secret from him Even though she knows she would be punished severely Lily does what she knows she needs to do following her heart no matter the consequences I was afraid T Ray might go up to the attic and discover
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