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Motherhood: It's Effect on a Young Girl's Life

  • Date Submitted: 03/15/2010 04:50 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.3 
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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.
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...

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