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The Secret Life Of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd

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Evolution: T. Ray T. Ray from The Secret Life of Bees seems to be mean and horrible in the novel, but this essay proves otherwise. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd takes place in South Carolina during the Civil Rights Era, where Lily, the main character, lives. This time period is an important part of American history and many of the characters go through some dramatic changes and discover new elements of themselves. The focus of this essay will be on T. Ray, Lily’s father, who grows as a character throughout the novel, and is dishonest and controlling in the beginning of the novel. This is in view of the fact that T. Ray is very protective of Lily, but learns to let her go, realizing that she is better off with the Boatwright sisters.…show more content…
Ray is exceedingly cruel to Lily throughout her childhood, and does not consider Lily’s feelings. He treats his daughter very poorly and does not act like a father should. “‘Your mother?’ [T. Ray’s] face was bright red. ‘You think that goddamn woman gave a shit about you?’ ‘My mother loved me!’ [Lily] cried. … ‘The truth is, your sorry mother ran off and left you.’” (Kidd 39) This quote shows how T. Ray is very harsh to Lily, saying words that are harmful. In the novel, it is also shown that T. Ray is extremely controlling and is even abusive to Lily, and is not a father figure to his child, as Lily calls her father, ‘T. Ray’. “‘I hate you!’ [Lily] screamed. That stopped his smiling instantly. He stiffened. ‘Why, you little bitch,’ he said.” (Kidd 39) Here, it is shown that T. Ray is a heartless and spiteful character, and does not seem to care about Lily’s feelings. To add to to T. Ray’s cruelty, Lily often punished by her father to the point where she runs away from home. “‘You act no better than a slut.’ [T. Ray] poured a mound of grits the size of an anthill onto the pine floor. ‘Get over here and kneel down.’ I’d been kneeling on grits since I was six, but still I never got used to that powdered-glass feeling beneath my skin.” (Kidd 25) Yet again, T. Ray is shown as an abusive and malicious person as a whole, especially to Lily, who he treats like a slave. As proved, T. Ray is not a pleasant person and is quite brutal to his daughter, who truly hates…show more content…
Ray is displayed as a protective character, even though he does not play the father role very well, and prohibits Lily from doing activities that are normal for a girl her age, becoming furious whenever his rules are broken. He also assumes that he knows what is going on in Lily’s life and his assumptions are almost always (if not always) unfavorable. “‘Who were you out here with?’ [T. Ray] shouted, aiming the light on my half-buttoned top. … ‘Please, T. Ray, no one was here but me.’ … ‘I expect this out of boys, Lily- you can’t blame them- but I expect more out of you. You act no better than a slut.’” (Kidd 25) T. Ray demonstrates outrage and indignation here when his rules are broken, even though his assumption is misguided. T. Ray’s protective personality is even demonstrated for Deborah, his ex-wife, when he finds Lily in Tiburon, living with the Boatwright sisters. “‘Deborah,’ [Lily] heard [T. Ray] mumble. ‘You’re not leaving me again.’ … ‘T. Ray,’ I said. ‘It’s me- Lily.’ He didn’t hear me. He had a fistful of my hair and wouldn’t let go. ‘Deborah,’ he said. … He seemed crazy with anguish, reliving a pain he’d kept locked up all this time, and now that it was loose, it had overwhelmed him.” (Kidd 295) This quote shows how T. Ray is selfish and possessive of his family, refusing to let Lily leave him, even for the better. On another occasion, T. Ray forbids Lily from doing a pretty normal activity- which is reading books. “T. Ray refused to let [Lily] bring books
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