As people, we naturally “size people up,” or rather determine their value and treat them
accordingly. If we come across someone with money or someone well known, we tend to
determine that they have a higher value and place them on a high pedestal. Whereas, when we
come across someone with noticeably less money seen in the way they dress, the type of house
they live in, or what job they possess, and automatically assume their value is less, deeming them
not as important as someone more well off. We essentially treat the wealthier better than the less
fortunate. But what gives us the right to treat people differently? I ask the same questions while
reading the “Wild Bees” by James K. Baxter. The poem addresses a group of boys attacking a
beehive in a horrific way, reminiscent to that of genocide. Similar to people devaluing one
another, the boys devalue the bees and wind up destroying the beehive. In the poem, Baxter uses
the scenario to address people’s tendency to define another individual’s worth and how the
affects may lead to violence.
Baxter addresses the negative side effects of determining someone else’s value by
referencing Ophelia from the Shakespearean play Hamlet. In Hamlet, Ophelia was the love
interest of Hamlet, but is driven crazy by Hamlet’s sudden disregard of Ophelia and her feelings.
As a result, she drowns herself in a river. One may argue that Ophelia drowned herself because
Hamlet devalued her and deemed her unimportant and useless to himself, therefore, causing her
to see herself as unimportant and useless. The poem states, “Often in a summer… downstream
between willows, a safe Ophelia drifting / In a rented boat” (line 1-3) which may be hinting
towards the noti...
... middle of paper ...
them, assumed themselves more superior and acted in destroying them. Violence occurred for
the boy’s enjoyment and they were able to kill them successfully because the bees were smaller
than them. The bees were not less important than the boys, similar to how no person is less
important than another person. In today’s society though, we often place each other in categories
whether by stereotype, or significance, or based upon wealth. The overall message Baxter sends,
though, is that we do not have the right to place a value on another person (whether increasing
their value or lessening it), and that the violence that often occurs from doing so is senseless and
Works Cited Page
Baxter, James K. “Wild Bees” The Norton Anthology of Poetry. 5th ed. Ferguson, Margaret.
New York: Norton 2005. 1701. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In “Gryphon” by Charles Baxter, a class of fourth grade students gets a substitute teacher. She is very eccentric but knowledgeable and tells the whole class a lot of myths and facts. It is up to the class to decide what is true or not. In “Gryphon,” Miss Ferenczi specifically calls her wronged math answer a “substitute fact” but also tells the class many other things and myths that are true. For example, she tells the class a great deal about Egypt and that “features of the Constitution of the United States are notable for their Egyptian ideas.” (145) Her whole lecture was complete fact about Egypt, a country she had a passion for.... [tags: Charles Baxter]
492 words (1.4 pages)
- Racism: Then and Now. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a book discussing the internal strife of a young white girl, in a very racist 1960’s south. The main character, Lily Owens, faces many problems she must overcome, including her personal dilemma of killing her own mother in an accident. Sue Monk Kidd accurately displays the irrationality of racism in the South during mid- 1960's not only by using beautiful language, but very thoroughly developed plot and character development. Kidd shows the irrationality of racism through the characters in her book, The Secret Life of Bees and shows that even during that time period, some unique people, were able to see beyond the heavy curta... [tags: The Secret Life of Bees]
900 words (2.6 pages)
- Everyone has a secret life that they keep hidden from the rest of the world. Lies are told on a daily basis in order to keep these lives stashed in the dark. In The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, the bees are the ones that have the most secret life of all. They each have their own specific role to play deep within the hive. It's obvious that the author had meant for some of her characters to portray the roles that these buzzing insects have to dutifully fulfill every duty. Lily and Zach are the field bees, August is a nurse bee, and the Lady of Chains is the Queen bee.... [tags: the secret life of bees]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- Bees and Man Mankind has held the honey bee in adoring reverence, either as a being of divinity in and of itself, or as a messenger of the god(s). All of the continents that have evolved with bees in their landscapes, have induced awe among the human populations, by serving as role models for advancing civilizations, as personal representatives of power, and symbols of nobility. The activities of the honey bee, has provided nourishment for the Earth’s inhabitants, either directly or indirectly.... [tags: Insects]
2155 words (6.2 pages)
- Into The Wild In the book Into The Wild the main character Alex did some questionable things. Although he did some unusual things, he was sane. Alex was well educated and highly respected by everyone who knew him. Christopher McCandless came from a rich suburb of Washington D.C. He excelled in school and had been an outstanding athlete. He graduated with honors from Emory University in the summer of 1990, and soon after he dropped out of sight. He changed his name from Chris to Alex, gave his twenty-four-thousand dollar savings account to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, and burned all of the cash in his wallet.... [tags: Book Into Wild Essays]
409 words (1.2 pages)
- Into the Wild, written by Jon Krakauer, is the story of a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless who ventured off to Alaska and tried to survive in the wild. McCandless grew up in Annandale, Virginia where he attended school and made very good grades, rarely bringing home anything below an A. His father, Walt worked for NASA for a little while, before starting his own business with Chris’s mother, Billie, out of their own home. They worked hard and for long hours to get the business up and running and it finally paid off.... [tags: Into the Wild Essays]
1857 words (5.3 pages)
- Heart break, joy, love, happiness, The Book The Secret Life of Bees has it all. The book is about a young girls that accidentally shot her mother. After spending nine years with her abusive, and emotionally absent father, she decides to run away. So, she breaks her beloved nanny out of prison, and Lily escapes to Tiburon South Carolina, a town she links to her mother through the writing on one of her old possessions. While in Tiburon, Lily finds the calendar sisters three very different, very helpful sisters.... [tags: Secret Life of Bees Essays]
492 words (1.4 pages)
- Into the Wild: Searching Chris McCandless, the main character of Into the Wild, is searching for his true self. His numerous tests of both his physical and mental abilities are proof of his determination. He felt affected in his families presence so went on a road trip. He was criticized by many for this, but who could stop him from discovering who he is. It is clear from the novel that Chris’ relationship with his parents is not good. He refuses gifts from them and then disappears.... [tags: Into the Wild Essays]
467 words (1.3 pages)
- My house is made up of yellow and white limestone. My friend Jane's is bright red brick. If you were to ask me what the color of her house means to me... I would say an easy way to identify this house. In my opinion, the color of someones house is just not a way to detect anything from her personality. It is simply put, the color of her house. What if I were to tell you that that red was a symbol of love. That the reason it was red brick was because Jane's parents loved each other so much they decided to express the love in the color of their house just to remind them of the love they share.... [tags: Kidd Secret Life Bees Book Report]
1428 words (4.1 pages)
- The Africanized Honey Bee is actually a variety of honeybee derived by hybridization from African honeybees naturalized in the western hemisphere. Because they are highly defensive and will attack perceived intruders more readily than the common European honeybee, they are also known by the popular name of “killer bees.” Brazilian scientists imported African honeybee queens in the 1950’s in order to breed a honeybee for use in tropical climates. Some swarms escaped into the wild. Because they were highly adapted for tropical survival and had no natural competitors, they thrived and spread rapidly through South America, extending their range by as much as 500 km (300 mi) per year.... [tags: essays research papers]
505 words (1.4 pages)