Sue Monk Kidd: Imprints in the Mind of a Writer

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What would it be like to live in the south during the 1960’s? How about to live with bees? Sue Mont Kidd got to encounter both of these things while pursuing her innate talent to write. Her childhood memories and ambitions, experiences with bees, and the social climate of the south left an imprint on Sue Monk Kidd, as evident in the coming-of-age novel The Secret Life of Bee. Kidd’s childhood memories and ambitions took a toll on her novel The Secret Life of Bees. Lily and Kidd had many minute similarities, but they were the kinds of things that you would remember about your childhood. They both had nannies, curled their hair with grape juice cans, grew up in the south, and refused to eat grits. Kidd writes “…all year I’d had to roll it on Welch’s grape juice cans…” (Kidd 3) as Lily, but I really think it was her reminiscing through her childhood. Lily and Kidd also wanted to pursue similar things in life, like charm school and becoming writers. Again writing as Lily, but relating to herself, Kidd writes “I thought my real chance would come from going to charm school…” (Kidd 9 and “…I planned to be a professor and a writer of actual books” (Kidd 6).Kidd probably felt a sense of nostalgia for her childhood memories and ambitions as she created the character of Lily Owens. Kidd’s experience with bees also inspired her while writing The Secret Life of Bees. Bees flew from cracks in the walls from Kidd and Lily’s rooms. “…how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room…” (Kidd 1) is what Kidd wrote, in which I think was one of her most vivid flash backs. Also, Kidd’s mother and Rosaleen had to clean up puddles of honey from the bees. Kidd remembered when her husband has noticed puddles of h... ... middle of paper ... ...ven be noticed. Kidd wrote “’We can’t be together now…’” (Kidd 231) and “I said, ‘If I was a Negro girl---‘” (Kidd 216) to show that there was no way for them to be together unless Lily herself was a black. Another thing that Kidd portrayed was the preconceived ideas that whites had about blacks. She showed this with Lily not thinking that the Boatwright sister could not be as smart as herself or other white people. Kidd was very heavily influenced by the social climate of the south. As you can see, the childhood, the bees, and the south has a significant impact on Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees. May strategic happenings occurred during her life, so naturally they affected Kidd in ways that only a close review could reveal. When Kidd acted upon her internal drive to write, the elements of her life seemed to appear numerous times throughout her novel.

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