Are there any particular quotes or passagesthat show the internal and external conflicts?

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It shouldn't be too difficult to find passages that display conflict in a novel so full of emotion as this one. One of the conflicts Lily struggles against most is internal, against her own self. An example that comes to my mind is at the very end, when T. Ray discovers where Lily has been staying and tries to take her home. When he learns that this is the same place Lily's mother had gone when she left him, another layer of conflict is revealed in Lily:

...He shook his head and looked around, as if think, I bet she sat in this chair. I bet she walked on this rug. His chin quivered slightly, and for the first time it hit me how much he must've loved her, how it had split him open when she left. (293)

She knew how much her mother's death had affected her, but she never considered that it may have hurt her father as well. Later, confronted by a wall of women who don't want Lily to leave, T. Ray's pride begins to wilt and we see that he is fighting the same conflict within himself:

T. Ray sniffed hard and looked at the ceiling. His resolve was crumbling all around him. You could practically see bits of it flaking off. (298)

An external conflict would be man vs. man, as in racism

Read the study guide:
The Secret Life of Bees

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question