In The Secret Life of Bees, what is funny about Lily's comment about "poor news reporting?What is funny about Lily thanking God for the "poor news reporting" when she buys a newspaper? Chapter 3

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lily's comment about "poor news reporting" shows in a humorous way that in her childlike view of the world, the things that are happening to her personally are the most important; she still has the egocentric outlook that everything centers around herself. Her comment is ironic in that the reader knows that the events covered in the newspaper are important to the world at large, while her action is relatively insignificant when all is said and done, but Lily thinks it is the most important thing.

Lily has broken Rosaleen out of prison, and is trying to escape with her to safety. In her imagination, she fears that there are "wanted posters (in the post office) of (her) and Rosaleen," and that the newspapers are filled with details of her deed. When she gets a copy of the paper and spreads it out on the ground in an alley, she is surprised to find that it is

"full of Malcolm X, Saigon, the Beatles, tennis at Wimbledon, and a motel in Jackson, Mississippi, that closed down rather than accept Negro guests, but nothing about (her) and Rosaleen."

Not understanding that, in the greater scheme of things, her actions are insignificant, Lily blames the oversight on "poor news reporting. She says,

"Sometimes you want to fall on your knees and thank God in heaven for all the poor news reporting that goes on in the world" (Chapter 3).
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The Secret Life of Bees

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