Motherhood: It’s Effect on a Young Girl’s Life
For almost everyone, particularly girls, a mother figure is an essential part of life. A mother has many responsibilities, as girls often rely on their mother for advice, help and support as they are growing up and even after they become adults. For about ten years, Lily Owens lacked a mother to call her own after a tragic accident claimed her mother’s life. Although her mother is gone, Lily has no shortage of stand-in mothers. The theme of motherhood is developed through Rosaleen, August and Mary. These three figures act as mothers in Lily’s life throughout The Secret Life of Bees.
The first woman in Lily’s life after the death of her own mother is Rosaleen. Rosaleen was hired by Lily’s father to work around the house after Deborah dies. Naturally, since Lily is lacking a mother and Rosaleen has no children of her own, Rosaleen takes on a role of motherhood in Lily’s life. She is constantly looking out for Lily and caring for her when her own father does not. When Lily’s birthday comes around, T. Ray barely acknowledges it. Rosaleen comes through and bakes a cake and helps Lily celebrate. Lily also cares for Rosaleen the way a daughter would care for her mother. When Rosaleen is stuck in jail and Lily hears that she might be killed, she immediately acts and goes to save Rosaleen. As the story continues, Lily comes across other women who also contribute to the theme of motherhood.
Israeli military operations intensified today in the West Bank, with tanks and troops on the move in three villages as Israel continued its effort to uproot terror following six attacks in five days. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his nation on Sunday that Israel was 'at war against terror' and vowed to tear out terrorists 'by the roots.' Meanwhile, at least three people were injured -- ...
As the story progresses, Lily meets August and it is clear from the beginning that they have a great relationship. August immediately begins displaying mother-like qualities and caring for Lily as if she were her own child. August houses, feeds, clothes, teaches and nurtures Lily. She makes it clear to Lily that she is available to talk about anything whenever Lily desires. August adopts Lily into the family and accustoms her to her own ways of life, like she has known her her entire life. The longer Lily lives in the house, the stronger Lily and August’s relationship grows. The way Lily admires and appreciates August is made clear through Lily’s thoughts and actions. At one point Lily even states that she loves August. The connection and bonding between these two significant characters help to develop the theme of motherhood throughout the story.
Motherhood can be portrayed in ways other than human characters. A third example of motherhood in the story comes from the Virgin Mary. Mary is the main religious figure that the Daughters of Mary pray to and worship. Throughout the story, August tells Lily stories about Mary. One particular story told of how Mary once stood in for a nun who had made a mistake and saved her job. These stories subtly suggest to Lily that she should pray to Mary and allow her to guide her in life. When Lily is at her lowest, she finds herself asking Mary to help her. Mary’s presence in Lily’s life is similar to that of a mother. With time, she becomes more accustomed to the religious figure and she becomes a symbol of motherhood in Lily’s life.
The theme of motherhood can be expressed in many different ways. In The Secret Life of Bees, it is conveyed through three figures and their relationship with the motherless Lily Owens. All three figures develop different relationships with Lily, but all three portray some kind of motherly qualities. Between the three of them, they manage to fill most of the gap the death of Lily’s mother has left in her heart. The theme of motherhood is portrayed through Rosaleen, August and Mary and their relationships with Lily.