Wild Bees by James K. Baxter Essay

Wild Bees by James K. Baxter Essay

Length: 1210 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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 ...


...rst devalued
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
achieves nothing.




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 »

Into The Wild By James Krakauer Essay

- Society has become a place dependent on the technological advances humans have created, and have lost sight in how back, millions of years ago, humans survived off of the land. In the novel, Into The Wild by James Krakauer, the author narrates the life of Chris Johnson McCandless, otherwise known as Alexander Supertramp, which is his alter-ego he created after leaving his old life behind to go on the road and live off the radar and on the land. James writes about the journey of Chris McCandless and how he changed many people’s lives in the process of changing his own....   [tags: Into the Wild, Christopher McCandless, Wilderness]

Strong Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis of Baxter's Gryphon Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
492 words (1.4 pages)

The Secret Life Of Bees Essay

- Do you ever feel like you are holding someone back if they always have to worry about you. You may feel ashamed or you may not care if they worry for you. In the story, The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd indicates that the character, May, feels like she is holding everyone back. April’s death is a blow to May who starts acting like an immature child. The rest of her sisters, August and June, lived with May in the pink house due to their worry of her sensitivity and empathy towards others in pain....   [tags: The Secret Life of Bees, Secret Life]

Strong Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

- 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]

Strong Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

The Secret Life Of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd Essay

- “What’s wrong in living in a dream world?” (121). In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, The Secret Life of Bees, the protagonist character named Lily Owens is a girl who is confused. She is pulled in many directions in her life. Some conflicts Lily runs into are the people around her and herself. In Lily’s life, she lives in a world that is unrealistic. She tries to avoid life and the problems that come with it. Sooner or later, Lily faces life straight into its eyes and takes it all at once. In the beginning of the novel, Kidd shows the tension that Lily encounters with her father....   [tags: The Secret Life of Bees, Secret Life]

Strong Essays
803 words (2.3 pages)

Specific Roles of Characters Depicted in Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees

- 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]

Strong Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Into The Wild

- 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]

Strong Essays
409 words (1.2 pages)

Emotion and Culture in Secret Life of Bees Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
492 words (1.4 pages)

Into the Wild: Searching Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
467 words (1.3 pages)

Killer Bees Essay examples

- 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]

Strong Essays
505 words (1.4 pages)