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Although the main character in the book was white, the author, Sue Kidd, does a great job of depicting the African American culture during the time. Whether it was Rosaleen getting beat up in jail, or Zach dreaming of being a lawyer, this book showed you what it was like being a minority during a time when rights where still being fought for. One of the smaller conflicts in the story was a man verses man conflict, when Lily and Zach started to like each other. Though they knew that a colored man, and a white girl could never be together, they both were attracted to each other. Were they not from different cultures, people would have been fine with them dating, but because Zach was black, it couldn?t work out.
Another internal conflict is how Lilly feels responsible for her mother?s death. When she was four, she accidentally shot her mom, and wasn?t able to forgive herself. The reason she runs away in the first place is because her dad tells her that her mom left her, which is both an internal, and man versus man conflict. She?s mad at her dad for saying it, but can?t fully convince herself that it isn?t true. There?s a man versus society conflict when men beat up Rossaleen because of her color, and another internal conflict when May is so overcome with grief that she cant stop crying.
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That particular conflict, May?s crying, I thought was very touching. I felt terrible when I found out that May?s twin had died, and was horrified that she had to experience so much pain, so often.
The secret Life of bees was an extremely touching book. Though it was filled with conflict, when it ended I was filled with peace. I learned a lot about the culture, and time period. It was a great book.