How does The Secret Life of Bees relate to American Literature or the tradition of the novel as a whole?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Like any great American novel, The Secret Life of Bees captures the true essence of American life, specifically during the 1960's. The Civil Rights Movement is well under way, and the political climate impacts each character at some point in the novel. As the story unfolds in the South, discrimination and segregation of black Americans is a central theme throughout the novel. Additional themes include loss, love, change, hope, and religion.

Author Sue Monk Kidd writes the descriptive narrative in first person, telling the story from Lily's point of view. Her conversational tone draws the reader in, and her use of humor paints Lily as a witty teenager open to whatever comes her way. Readers feel as though they are right there with the characters as they learn and grow throughout the book.

Quotes from the book that exemplify Monk Kidd's writing style include:
I have noticed that if you look carefully at people's eyes the first five seconds they look at you, the truth of their feelings will...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 618 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