Interpreting this quote depends on the way the reader understands who is referred to as “the honeybee,” who “her sisters” are meant to represent, and who (if anyone) specifically is to “die.” While May, June, and August Boatwright are biological sisters, the idea of sisterhood as female community and solidarity is strongly present in the novel.
The ways that the actual bees live as a specific kind of insect is explored throughout the novel. Bees live together in a hive, not isolated as hermits. The importance of support within a group is essential for Lily, who feels especially alone without her mother. Furthermore, the bees’ social collectivity is all female, and the Tiburon community is largely female.
If the quote refers to human individual characters, it seems most directly applicable to May and her deceased twin, April. The quote can foreshadow May’s death. Although she has managed to...
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