Literature Based Research

Sue Monk Kidd in her works is known to be a writer of non-fictional works. Nevertheless her story, The Secret Life of existing Bees represents her first fictional work. Many people however still doubt the fact that Kidd has written a fictional story and feels that she should revisit her story and her memorable characters and fascinating events. Introduction Fiction refers to an imaginative form of narrative. Even though the word fiction is sometimes used to mean create, fictional work must not be imaginative all through and at times do involve real people, places and events.

Fiction is known to have three main elements including the setting, plotting and character. The character refers to one participating in the story, usually a person, though may be any personal identity or entity whose existence in the story mainly originates from a fictional performance. Plotting as one of the essential elements of fiction in a story refers to the way the author provides and orders the events and actions in a story. Another listed essential element of fiction in a story is the setting which entails the location and the timing of the story.

The setting of a story includes a context like a society which goes beyond the immediate surrounding of the story. Other elements of fiction however are theme and style (Gallup 58). In sue monk Kidd’s story, The Secret Life of existing Bees the strongest element of fiction noted is the character. This is because all the characters listed in the story are only imagined by Kidd who is the author. In real sense the people talked about in the story does not exist anywhere. In addition to character, there is the fictional element of plotting.

This comes from the fact that there are several fascinating events in the story which only aims at setting the way for rebirth and discovery for lily. In the paper therefore the critical analysis is going to be character and plotting as elements of fiction in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of existing Bees (Gruen 119). The Secret Life of existing Bees by an American author, Sue Monk Kidd is a literary approved novel. It is a historical fictional novel which was the most selling in the year 2002. Kidd’s story is a tale of self discovery and the power of women.

Kidd creates this story with memorable behavior and fascinating facts and events. “The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a story of an adventure of a young girl who was trying to find out the truth about the death of her mother” (81). After being neglected by her father, the only people who are there to help her solve the mystery of her mother’s death are three women known to her as the calendar sister May, June and August who became her friends and revealed to her the secrets of the black Madonna which is one the remaining possessions of her mother (Kidd 122).

The fictional part of this novel can be seen in the sense that the story does not only talk about a young girl who is living with a vague memory about her mother’s death but tries to reflect self discovery as well as the power of women. This explains why most characters in the story are women are the only ones who care about helping Lily solve the mystery surrounding her life. In this novel, Kidd proves to be very proficient in telling story as well as in creating characters (Marte 91). Additionally Kidd uses the bee symbol to create a captivating story of self discovery, shared pains and joys.

Just like Kidd’s story the secret life of existing bees, in the communities of bees in their hives, the female bees usually rule the beehives the same way the Virgin Mary symbolizes the mother of all people. Similar to the female bees, the Boatwright sister August creates rituals and prayers to help her protect her home and sisterhood (Haddon 81). The description of “Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees entails the story about a fourteen year old Lily Owen who is neglected by her father T.

Ray and isolated on their Georgia peach farm after an accidental death of her mother when she was four years old” (Kidd 51). Lily keeps on imagining who she is because at home she is not allowed to ask any question as far as her past is concerned. In Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret life of existing Bees, Monk uses the fictional element of character. For example Lily acts as an example of a typical teenage narrator. In Lily who is believed to be imaginary character, Kidd creates a good and a believable character. Lily’s father T.

Ray is another fictional character in the story by Kidd. T. Ray is portrayed as a harsh, neglectful and abusive father who fails to care for Lily. The next fictional character in the story is Deborah who plays the part of Lily’s mother and suffers a mysterious death at the early ages of Lily’s life (Diamant 133). Another character, Rosaleen who is lily’s nursemaid typifies a particular type of black woman who originated from the era of civil rights movement. She is brought in by Lily’s father to care of Lily after the death of Lily’s mother Deborah.

She turns out to be the best friend of Lily and contributes to self discovery and rebirth. Another group of fictional characters in Kidd’s story The Secret Life of existing Bees is the three racists who attack Rosaleen on her way to exercise her right to vote. It is as a result of these racists that Rosaleen and Lily are thrown to jail. When Lily’s abusive father T. Ray bails her out, on their way home they he engages Lily on the argument about Lily’s mother where T. Ray informs Lily that she had accidentally shot and killed Deborah, her mother.

Another group of characters who draw the attention of the reader of the novel are the Boatwright sisters. The Boatwright sisters, August, May and June who seem to be intelligent, eccentric and energetic capture the imagination of the reader (Haddon 133). Another memorable character used by Kidd in his novel The Secret Life of existing Bees is Zackary Taylor who according to the book becomes the first love of Lily, and who is believed she meets in Tiburon South Carolina.

“The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is not a true story about Lily and her adventurous search about her mother’s death but a fictional story of mothers” (41). As the reader goes through the novel he or she moves on with Lily in her experience with the four remarkable women, Rosaleen, May, June and August. Every one of these women appears to be not only a teacher but also a guide to Lily. With this experience lily learns to appreciate that a mother is more than just a biological bond.

Another element of fiction in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of existing Bees is the plotting of the story. In the first case Kidd provides that Lily’s father T. Ray is a neglectful, harsh and abusive father who could not care for Lily. This gives the reader a reason why Lily would tirelessly want to find about the death of her mother as well as finding someone who can care for her. In addition Kidd provides that the story began during summer of 1964, the year of civil rights act and strong racial unrest.

Kidd further provides that it is during this time that Rosaleen, Lily’s housekeeper is going to exercise her voting right accompanied by Lily. On further event Kidd orders that Rosaleen is attacked by three racists whom she assaults after which she together with Lily is thrown to jail. This is fiction as the reader would wonder how Rosaleen herself could assault three racists. In addition it leaves questions why Rosaleen is arrested along with Lily who did not participate in the assault.

This fiction directs the reader to how Lily decides to live her father and look for a new life where she meets with the Boatwright sisters who acts as teachers and guides towards finding the truth about the death of her mother and about her real identity. Definitely the fight between the racist in Sylvan and Rosaleen and the framed picture of the black Madonna, which was one of the possessions of the mother of Lily, set the beginning of the journey to rebirth and discovery (Niffernegger 219).

Furthermore it is a fiction that the two, Rosaleen and Lily have their destination in Tiburon, South Carolina. It is also a fiction that Rosaleen and Lily are taken in by the three Boatwright sisters, May, June and August who proves to be very helpful to lily. It is really fascinating that in Tiburon South Carolina the two, Rosaleen and Lily finds their way to the three Boatwright sisters who happens to know the secrets of black Madonna. Through Lily’s experience with the Boatwright sisters and the bees kept by the sister Lily reaches a sense of belonging and a peace of mind.

It is actually from one of the Boatwright sisters, August that Lily without expecting it gets to know all about the mystery of her mother and learns the secrets of keeping bees. Another fascinating event in The Secret Life of existing Bees by Kidd is that when Rosaleen and Lily move to Tiburon South Carolina, they find the black Madonna representing the black Virgin Mary which is a symbolic figure of a universal mother. Kidd in his story provides that the black Madonna is a mother to all including Lily who throughout the story considers herself motherless.

This gives Lily something to look up to as one of her mother’s remaining possessions. The strongest element of fiction in this novel is the character. This can be noted from the way Kidd has woven a complete spread of extraordinary characters starting from Rosaleen, lily’s nurse maid all the way to the calendar sisters, June, August and May and finally Zackary Taylor (Hosseini 98). The death of Deborah Owen results to the coming in of Rosaleen to take care of Lily. Rosaleen turns out to be the only true friend of Lily.

The effectiveness of Rosaleen is seen where she engages in a fight with three racists who resulted to them being thrown in jail. It is from the jail that lily feels so much emotional abuse and decides to leave him and look for a new life. She breaks Rosaleen from jail and together they travels to Tiburon South Carolina. The fight and the framed picture of the black Madonna marked the beginning of the journey to self discovery and rebirth for Lily. The imaginary Deborah, who happens to be Lily’s mother and who Lily’s father T.

Ray says that was accidentally killed by Lily, originates the story. This is because if it was not for the death of Deborah there could not have been the story since there was not going to be a mystery in the life of Lily and was therefore not going to have any story to tell. The death of Deborah Owen is the source of great anguish and mystery in the life of Lily. It is a memory since when she was four years old but still cannot get her head out of it. In Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of existing Bees, the characters seem to be very effective in making this story attractive.

For instance, Lily on whom the story revolves around turns out to be a very fascinating, clever and a funny narrator. Lily’s father as a character in this novel plays important role. It is due to his an abusive nature that he tells Lily that she had accidentally shot and killed her mother. This made Lily to seek adventure in trying to find the truth about the death of her mother. Additionally it due to the abusive nature of Lily that she decides that she cannot stay with her father therefore resulting to her escape to Tiburon, South Carolina where she meets the three calendar sisters, May, June and August.

The three calendar sisters, May, June and August in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of existing Bees are effective as it is them who takes Lily and her nursemaid Rosaleen. With their help Lily joins their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey. They also help Lily discover her real identity as they reveal to her the secret of the black Madonna and the secret of beekeeping. The existence of one of the three calendar sisters August Boatwright is effective in the sense that it is through her help that Lily learns that there are many people who love and care for her.

It is here that Lily asks about her identity as she was not allowed to ask any questions at home concerning her past. Through different ways like writing her thoughts in a notebook, Lily succeeds in finding out that she really is after learning about her mothers past. Conclusion Sue monk Kidd’s the secret life of bees is indeed a fictional novel with memorable character and fascinating events. The story revolves around a teenage girl who sets a journey to discovery about the mystery rotating around the death of her mother.

Additionally the story involves fictional plot which includes the events and actions which led lily to find means to set her journey for rebirth and discovery. Nevertheless character as an element of fiction turns out to be the strongest element of fiction in Kidd’s the secret life of bees as their effectiveness drives the whole story. Annotated Bibliography Kidd, Sue. The Secret Life of Bees. Penguin: Putnam, Inc. 2002. The novel by Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees is a story of an adventure of a young girl who was trying to find out the truth about the death of her mother.

The novel discusses the girl in her struggles to find her real identity and the mystery surrounding the death of her mother. After being neglected by her father, the only people who are there to help her solve this mystery of her mother’s death and her real identity is her housekeeper Roseleen and other three women known to her as the calendar sister May, June and August who became her friends and revealed to her the secrets of the black Madonna which is one the remaining possessions of her mother.

This novel reveals that it is the fight between Lily’s housekeeper and the racists and the picture frame of the black Madonna which is one of Lily’s mother’s one of the remaining possessions that sets the two, Lily and Roseleen on the journey for rebirth and rediscovery for Lily. This journey leads them to a destination on Tiburon South Carolina where they meet the three calendar sisters, May, June and August who finally helps to find her real identity after solving the mystery behind her mother’s death.

The article indicates that the calendar sisters helped Lily to rediscover her identity and solve the mysteries surrounding the death of her mother Deborah by telling her the secrets of the black Madonna who is a mother to all in addition to telling her the secrets of beekeeping. It is this experience with the three calendar sisters and the bees that Lily finally learns to have a sense of belonging and a peaceful mind. Gallup, M. The Mermaid Chair. Washington: Public Press, 2003.

This article reviews the story by Sue Monk Kidd on the secret life of existing bees and comes up with different styles that Kidd uses in her story. This article goes further to discuss the themes of the story where by the article comes with the major theme of the story as the secret life. Other themes as discussed here include fortunate coincidences and signs, race and mothers. From this point the article concludes that Kidd uses the bee symbol to create a captivating story of self discovery, shared pains and joys.

There is a claim that no body knows the life that goes on inside the beehive. Just like Kidd’s story the secret life of existing bees, in the communities of bees in their hives, the female bees usually rule the beehives the same way the Virgin Mary symbolizes the mother of all people. Similar to the female bees, the Boatwright sister August creates rituals and prayers to help her protect her home and sisterhood. Marte,Yann. Life of Pi in a Novel . Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. The book discusses the meaning of the fiction by giving its definition and the word from which the word originates.

It goes on to tell us that the word fiction is sometimes used to mean create nevertheless fictional work must not be imaginative all through and at times do involve real people, places and events. This book further discusses the three main elements of fiction which include the setting, plotting and character whereby it explains that the character refers to one participating in the story, usually a person, though may be any personal identity or entity whose existence in the story mainly originates from a fictional performance.

Plotting on the other hand refers to the way the author provides and orders the events and actions in a story. Another listed essential element of fiction in a story is the setting which entails the location and the timing of the story. The setting of a story includes a context like a society which goes beyond the immediate surrounding of the story. Other elements of fiction discussed in this book are theme and style. Furthermore types of characters are discussed and categories of fictions verified. Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Upper Saddle River: Prentice lobby, 2002.

The article discusses mainly the elements of fiction in the story, The Secret Life of existing Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. It identifies character as the strongest element of fiction in the story and how the personalities of different characters turn out to be effective in the story. This article reveals characters such as Deborah, T. Ray, Roseleen and the three Boatwright sisters, May, June and August as the major players in the events that led to the discovery and rebirth of Lily therefore proving to be very effective in the making of the story, the secret life of existing bees.

Other than character, the article discusses plotting as another element of fiction in the story. Under plotting the article look at how Kidd renders and orders different actions and events in the story. It further discusses different actions that are ordered by Kidd to make the story have a successful conclusion. Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife. New York: DIANE Publishing Co. , 2006. This is an article which mainly reviews the whole story the secret life of existing bees by Sue Monk Kidd. It looks at how and where the stories begin and the story successfully came to a conclusion.

The article looks at the source of Lily’s story and discovers that it is the death of Deborah Owen the mother of Lily that acts as the main source of great anguish and mystery in the life of Lily. It is a memory since when she was four years old but still cannot get her head out of it. The article emphasizes that the death of Deborah leads to the coming of Roseleen who came in to take care of Lily. The article also argues that it is after the death of Deborah that Lily’s father becomes neglectful, abusive and harsh to Lily.

Furthermore more the article confirms that it is through the death of Deborah that led to the coming of Roseleen who got between the racists leading their journey to Tiburon south Carolina where they meets the calendar sisters thus paving way for Lily’s self discovery. Diamant, Anita. The Red Tent: A Novel. London: Oxford University Press, 2004. The article seeks to analyze the characters in Sue Monk Kidd’s story The Secret Life of existing Bees. It identifies each and every character and explains the role played by each character in making the story.

Additionally, the article explains the relationship between different characters in the story. The article reviews the story and identifies the conflict in the story which the major problem that is experienced by the protagonist (the main character) in a story. In the secret life of existing bees by Kidd, Lily being the protagonist must find information about her dead mother so that she can know her real identity and be able to understand her own life. The article also shows the point of the stories climax of the story, which refers to the turning point that allows the protagonist to solve his or her life.

In the secret life of existing bees the climax of the story is the point where Lily finally confronts her father T. Ray and learns that she actually shot her mother Deborah. The main theme of the story is looked at which is the secret lives and the minor themes which include race, mothers and fortunate coincidences and signs. Another element looked into in this article is the chapter summary, background information and literary or historical information. Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. London: London Press, 2005 The article looks into the life of bees in their beehives.

This article tries to seek how Kidd uses the bee symbol to create a captivating story of self discovery, shared pains and joys. The looks at how bees live in their bee hives and explain that just like Kidd’s story the secret life of existing bees, in the communities of bees in their hives, the female bees usually rule the beehives the same way the Virgin Mary symbolizes the mother of all people. Similar to the female bees, the Boatwright sister August creates rituals and prayers to help her protect her home and sisterhood.

The article therefore provides a clear understanding as to why the title of Kidd’s story is the secret life of existing bees and how this actually relates to the characters in the story. It indicates that just as the same way the female bees works hard to protect and rule the bee communities in their hives the female characters in this story and in particular Boatwright sister August works hard by creating rituals and prayers in her home to protect her home and her sisterhood.

Gruen, Sara. Water for Elephants: A Novel. University of California: Academic Press, 2003. The article analyses the fictional part of Sue Monk Kidd’s story the secret life of existing bees. It looks into and analyses each and every element of fiction Kidd’s story and evaluates the effectiveness of each element. Being the strongest element of fiction in this story, the article starts by discussing different characters and their role towards bringing this story to a successful conclusion.

Every character is critically analyzed in this article and the way he or she showed effectiveness towards the making of the story is noted. Other than the character, another element of fiction critically analyzed in this book is the plotting of the story. The article looks at how Kidd rendered and ordered every action in the story and how that event or action affected the story. It discusses different fascinating events that lead to the discovery and rebirth by Lily.