Free Study Guide for The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd|
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Mary Day is a lot of work. Lily decorates while Zach tidies the yard. June and Neil return with the prettiest ring Lily has ever seen. The Daughters arrive and everyone eats. Following dinner, they reenact the story of Our Lady of Chains. During part of the ceremony in which August talks about the importance of remembering, Lily walks outside because she does not want to remember. Zach follows her. Lily and Zach talk. Lily makes him promise that he will not let the world make him mean. He promises and kisses her. Zach tells her how hard he is going to study so he can be a lawyer and make changes. He tells her that he wants her to know how much he cares for her. He says that even though they cannot be together now, someday he will find her and they will be together then. He gives her his dogtag so she will not forget.
Chapter Eleven’s epigraph tells us that it takes honeybees millions of trips to make only one pound of honey. The major theme of this chapter is that hard work and persistence pay off.
The first manifestation of this message is June’s acceptance of Neil’s “hundredth” proposal. Had Neil given up on June, whom he truly loves, he would have missed her change of heart.
The second instance of this theme is in Mary Day. The women (and Zach and Otis) work all day for the comparatively short celebration. However, the camaraderie and inspiration that come from these celebrations is exceedingly rewarding.
Finally, we see in Zach a dogged determination to work hard to change
the world. Zach firmly believes that if he dedicates his life to change,
he will see results. It seems that in ending the chapter with Zach’s promise
to Lily, after we have seen the success of hard work throughout the chapter,
Kidd is suggesting that Zach’s dreams will be realized.
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. 09 May 2017