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Free Study Guide for The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES STUDY GUIDE


KEY FACTS


Title:
The Secret Life of Bees

Author: Sue Monk Kidd

Date Published: 2002

Setting: South Carolina, 1964

Genre: Fiction

Tense: Past

Meaning of the Title: Using bees as a metaphor for humans, Kidd shows how most of the characters are not what they seem on the surface. Thus, people’s lives are usually much more complex and complicated than they appear


Protagonist: Lily Owens

Antagonist: T. Ray Owens

Mood: Serious/Inspirational

Point of View: First-person, limited

Exposition: Chapter 1, where we learn that Lily’s mother died mysteriously when she was very young and that Lily lives a miserable existence with her cruel father, T. Ray

Climax: When Lily confronts T. Ray at the Boatwright house

Outcome: Lily rids her life of the toxic T. Ray and lives permanently with August and Rosaleen

Major Theme: Secret Lives


VOCABULARY


Ornery
-mean-spirited

Imbecile-stupid

Carouse-to act boisterously


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