Free Study Guide for The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd|
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When she returns to the honey house, Lily learns that Rosaleen is moving into May’s room because May gets scared at night. Lily is very upset. Rosaleen promises she is not leaving her. June and Neil get into a screaming match. June tells Neil that if he leaves, he should never come back. Neil drives away. May cries, and goes to the wall. At night, alone in the honey house, Lily fantasizes about Zach visiting her. Soon after, Zach surprises Lily with a notebook to write in. She realizes she will never find a better friend than Zach.
Chapter Seven’s epigraph notes that it is strange how bees became associated with sex when in reality their hives are like cloisters, or convents. As we learned from a previous epigraph it is mostly female bees that operate the hive. The females only rarely need male bees. Similarly, the Boatwright household is comprised of all female “bees” with the occasional male visitor. However, these male-female relationships prove complicated. June and Neil argue frequently about marriage. June has been hurt before and refuses to attempt marriage again. Neil, conversely, maintains that he will not wait around forever for June.
In this chapter we also see romance begin to develop between Lily and Zach. A romantic relationship between Lily and Zach would be very complicated because of the race issue. Lily’s feelings for Zach introduce a potential conflict in the plot.
Zach’s full name, “Zachary Lincoln Taylor” is simultaneously ironic
and appropriate. His name is ironic because it honors two American presidents,
Zachary Taylor and Abraham Lincoln. Zach’s name honors the leaders of
a nation that does not grant him the true freedom for which it stands.
The name is appropriate because of who these presidents were. Although
Zachary Taylor was a plantation owner from the South, during his presidency
he did not support slavery. Before he died in office in 1850, he proclaimed
that he would lead the Army against the South if it tried to secede. Abraham
Lincoln is known as the “Great Emancipator.” While his personal feelings
about slavery are disputed, Lincoln remains for many an important leader
in the fight to end slavery.
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. 09 May 2017