What quotes show growth or change in the character Lily in The Secret Life of Bees?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lily does change and grow throughout this story, in so many ways.  Here is just one.

In Chapter 4, Lily is talking about T. Ray's attitude toward "colored women," and she confesses that she felt they could not be as smart as her.  Then she meets August and sees how intelligent she is, and says,

...I was surprised by this. That's what let me know I had some prejudice buried inside me (78).

This is evidence of Lily gaining insight into an attitude that she had because of her father, now examining that attitude in light of the evidence.  This is a true example of change and growth.  When we are young, we tend to take our attitudes from our parents or others around us, without thinking about whether they are good or bad.  They just are.  As we venture out into the world, we have two choices. We can hang onto those attitudes, or we can look at the world through our own eyes and come to our own conclusions.  If we hang onto our "inherited" attitudes, we can never change and grow.

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The Secret Life of Bees

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