Essay Example on Throughout history the moon has been used as a symbol of Femininity









Throughout history the moon has been used as a symbol of femininity and motherhood In her novel The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd uses the symbol of the moon to show that humans need a mother figure in their lives Throughout the novel the protagonist Lily searches for answers about her mother who died when she was young The moon is always present in the story whenever Lily thinks about her biological mother or any of the other motherly figures that enter Lily s life during her journey Throughout the story Kidd uses the moon to represent a motherly figure and how such a person can help Lily as well as the other characters of the novel find their way in life Because Lily has lived most of her life without a mother she recognizes this absence and seeks out answers about her mother s past This leads her to leave her abusive father who does not provide any answers and constantly belittles Lily s mother behind and run away with her housekeeper and nanny Rosaleen the only mother figure she has had for most of her life Lily finds a picture that belonged to her mother that has the location Tiburon South Carolina written on it so she decides to check there for answers Along the way she has a dream In her dream I Lily could see a huge round moon in the sky It looked so perfect up there Next I heard a sound like ice breaking and looking up I saw the moon crack apart and start to fall Kidd 81 82 Lily s dream represents her past 

Her mother had been a very prominent figure in Lily's life before she died and Lily lost her forever just as the moon suddenly fell from the sky Kidd uses this dream to establish that the moon is representing a motherly figure When Lily arrives in Tiburon she meets the Boatwright sisters who take her in and care for her and Rosaleen Lily particularly bonds with the eldest of the sisters August Lily spends most of her summer with the Boatwrights and after some time August becomes a new motherly figure in Lily's life However Lily lies to August about who she is and hides her search for answers about her mother Because she and August have grown to trust each other she fears what will happen if she tells her the truth so she does not say anything for a long time Lily eventually decides I would show August the picture of my mother and see if the moon broke loose and fell out of the sky Kidd 168 Since Kidd has already established that the moon represents motherly relationships in Lily life Lily is afraid that if she reveals to August that she has lied She fears she will lose another motherly figure in her life and another moon will fall from the sky The symbolism of the moon falling from the sky appears once again showing that the falling moon represents losing one's relationship with a mother figure While staying with the Boatwrights a part of the sisters daily routines that has an influence on Lily is their worship of the Virgin Mary depicted as a black woman whom they call 

Our Lady The Boatwrights are members of a group called the Daughters of Mary who meet every Sunday like a church to celebrate Our Lady Lily joins this group and participates alongside the other Daughters The group believes Our Lady is a motherly figure for every human being and Lily begins to treat her the same way During the most important celebration for the Daughters of Mary Mary Day the entire group sings a song They sing Mary star of the sea Mary brightest moon Mary comb of honey Kidd 335 By calling Mary the brightest moon the daughters are reinforcing the idea that Mary is the most important motherly figure for everyone all of the human beings in the world By doing this Kidd is showing that a motherly figure can be found in a spiritual mother and not just a physical one In the end the moon is more than a recurring object used to provide imagery about the world of the novel In reality it symbolizes the motherly relationships a person comes across and how those relationships are some of if not the most important relationships in their life Just as the moon is always present and watching over people so are the motherly figures in their everyday lives Kidd reminds us all that we must keep the moons in our lives whether related by blood or not close and not let them fall from the sky and lose our close relationships Just like a mother without a moon to light the way at night it is easy to become lost

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