In The Secret Life of Bees, chapter 6, why is August sad at the thought of a rocket landing on the moon?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Up until this point in history, the moon was something of a mystery.  August is in awe of the moon and personifies it with a sense of religious respect.  She also understands that the power it seems to hold is simply because it is so big and so far away:

She is strong enough to pull the oceans, and when she dies away, she always comes back again.

Her sadness comes as a result of the idea of the moon losing its mystery.  She seems afraid that humans will cease to look at the moon with the same sense of awe and wonder. won't ever be the same, not after they've landed up there and walked around on her.  She'll just be one more big science project.

As a character, August seems to have a sense of wisdom and insight on life that she draws from elements of nature.  Beekeeping is only one of her sacred practices.  Right now, there is something sacred for her in the moon as well.  She knows that as soon as science and technology dispell the mystery of it, the moon will no longer maintain its current command of reverence and respect.

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The Secret Life of Bees

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