Love from Mother Figures in The "Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and Romeo and Juliet

Love from Mother Figures in The "Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and Romeo and Juliet

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In literature, young characters need mother figures to rely on to achieve their love needs. If they were ever separated from their mothers, characters would need to search for love somewhere else. In the novel, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily loses her mother at a young age, and as a result, she looks to the Boatwright sisters for love and support. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet is not close to her daughter. Rather than helping Juliet and caring for her, Lady Capulet pushes Juliet toward the Nurse unintentionally. This behavior causes Juliet to seek out the Nurse instead of her mother to help with her troubles regarding Romeo.
The novel, The Secret Life of Bees involves Lily Owens, a thirteen-year-old girl and her outing to find love. Lily is longing to feel love because she does not receive any from her abusive and cruel father T. Ray. Lily’s mother Deborah passes away when Lily is just a baby. For the rest of her life, Lily is forced to deal with T. Ray, who has a really short temper. At one point in the novel, T. Ray declares, “You listen to me. The day she died, [your mother] just [came] back to get her things, that’s all” (Kidd 39). T. Ray makes it sound like Deborah never loved Lily and did not even care about her. Fortunately for Lily, she has a picture that used to belong to Deborah, her mother. On the back of the photo, it says “Tiburon, SC” (14). She goes on a voyage, to this town to find out about her mother’s past and if she really abandons Lily like T. Ray claims. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love is a social need (“Maslow’s”). This can be used to determine why Lily abandoned her home. Maslow’s Hierarchy states that, “Children, adolescents or adul...


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...ue in the play, Juliet does come from a very prosperous family. Because of this, “children often spend their first years under the care of…nurses”(Grendler). Juliet goes to the Nurse to deliver a letter to Romeo rather than her own mother because she does not trust her enough. The Nurse really does care and love with Juliet. She is supportive and does her best to make sure Juliet is always happy.
There is a strong need for love anywhere and without it, characters will not succeed. Clearly Lily is looking for it with the Boatwrights while she is also with Rosaleen. Juliet, on the other hand, has her nurse as a mother figure. Lily’s mother died at a young age and Lily doesn’t know why so she goes to find out what really happened to her mother. Lady Capulet does not act like a mother should and as a result Juliet does not believe she can trust her mother.

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