How do the epigraphs in the book The Secret Life of Bees relate to Lily?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are a number of epigraphs that can be related particularly to Lily and her relationships throughout the book, including her relationship to herself. The epigraph for chapter nine relates to Lily's struggle to communicate with August about who she really is and the questions she has about her mother. The epigraph states that "the whole fabric of honey bee society depends on communication—on an innate ability to send and receive messages, to encode and decode information." Lily struggles immensely with communicating with August about who she is. She knows that August is aware that Lily is keeping something from her, but she is unable to be fully honest with August for much of the duration of the novel. She does eventually communicate honestly with August. Lily also struggles to communicate with June and does not seem to understand the resentment June has for Lily. In Lily's struggles to communicate, she inevitably has a struggle with listening deeply to other people and thinking...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 672 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team