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The Secret Life of Bees Essay

Academic level:
High school
Type of paper:
Essay (any type)
English and Literature
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The Significance of the Women Community in The Secret Life of Bees

This is a short essay about a novel written by Sue Monk Kidd, entitled The Secret Life of Bees, set in 1964. This essay attempts to illustrate a more in-depth understanding about how the unique virtues of women may impact others in the form of self-respect and conviction.

Women of Cognition

The main character of the novel, Lily Melissa Owens, gained stronger conviction within herself because of four women around her. These women can be likened to Carl Jung’s Four Basic Psychological Functions, as Lily attempts to accept the past incidents of her life. May Boatwright, having advanced emotional reactions due to her situation served as Lily’s intuition, and her instability improves her tactfulness and foresight. Stubborn June Boatwright would be Lily’s sensation, as she is a more matter-of-fact kind in perceiving events, such as her arrival in the Boatwright residence. But her best influences would be August Boatwright and Rosaleen Daise, Lily’s thinking and feeling functions respectively, because these two women taught her to believe in righteousness overcoming all the injustices of the world. August convinced Lily that her mother loved her, and what happened in the past must not hold her back from pursuing whatever she wants in her life. Rosaleen on the other hand kept Lily resolute with her emotions, so that she eventually forgives herself for what happened in the past with her mother and accept the reality that has become.

The writer of this essay believes that while women’s roles and opportunities in the society were fewer in earlier periods of time, that is currently no longer the case. Women’s rights were strongly advocated during the 1800s in the US due to grievances by the women community of social injustices. They can thank the pioneering women and men of these advocacies, particularly those who initiated the National Women’s Rights Convention, for starting the awareness for some sort of balance and equality between men’s and women’s social roles. It was during these times that women’s rights to vote, earn, choose, and judge were elevated to levels similar to the rights men enjoy. Today, women are succeeding greatly in many respects, with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Angela Merkel, and Serena Williams to name a few, plying their trade better than anyone on the planet. They are also proudly protected of their rights more. But in spite of these developments, women still are technically far off from being equal with the men. As presented by van der Gaag (2014):

“…the highest positions are even more elusive for women: only seven of 150 elected heads of state in the world are women, and only 11 of 192 heads of government. The situation is similar at the level of local government: female elected councilors are under-represented in all regions of the world and women mayors even more so. And many of the women in top positions are already lined up for success. The few women in the Forbes rich list mostly come from rich families or business dynasties such as Walmart or Apple.”

This writer believes that although gender equity is approaching towards ideality, this practically is not attainable. However, it is good to know that the general public is conscious enough to offer fair and just opportunities for everyone, to hear their objections and offer dialogue to make ends meet at least three-quarters of the way. Our women appreciate the effort that the society is exerting to attain this ever moving target of equity and balance of gender roles.


Jung, C. G. (1971).  Psychological types (Collected works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6, Chapter X)
Imbornoni, Ann-Marie (n.d.).  Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S.  Retrieved from
Van der Gaag, Nikki (2014, September 29).  Women are better off today, but still far from being equal with men.  Retrieved from

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