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Feminist Literature The Secret Life of Bees

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1 Feminist Literature The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates Presentation by: Lisa Kolstad, Alexandra Nunnally, Jenna Brehmer, Kim Veale

2 Timeline of Feminist Literature
Feminine phase (1840–1880) Feminist phase (1880–1920) Female phase (1920—present )

3 Important Figures in Feminist Literature
Louisa May Alcott (“Little Women”) Maya Angelou (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”) Simone de Beauvoir (“She Came to Stay”)

4 Determination Goes hand-in-hand with Women’s Rights
The feminist literature authors describe strong-willed women who are fighting for what they want.

5 Equality/ “Gynocritics”
Construct a female framework for the analysis of women’s literature Develop new models based on the study of female experience Begins at the point when women free themselves from the linear absolutes of male literary history, stop trying to fit women between the lines of the male tradition, and focus instead on the newly visible world of female culture

6 Women as the Main Character, Men as the Minor Character
The male is portrayed as bad or against what the women are doing, even setting them back, or they are all together left out of the story Women are portrayed as the highlight of the plot, and usually come out successful in the end

7 Gender/ Sexuality/ Women’s Rights
Modern Feminist political activists commonly campaign for women’s rights Workplace rights such as maternity leave and equal pay Protection against street harassment, rape, sexual harassment and violence within a domestic partnership

8 The Secret Life of Bees by: Sue Monk Kidd

9 Characters Lily Owens - 14 year old girl who loves bees
Rosaleen - Lily’s nanny. One person who truly cares and love Lily. T-ray Owens- Lily’s dad who abuses her. Deborah- Lily’s mother who died when she was young Zack Taylor - black boy who Lily likes August, June, and May Boatwright- sisters who take in Lily and Rosaleen

10 Summary In her room Lily has flashbacks of her mothers death while looking at the bees. Lily goes with Rosaleen to vote. They both end up in jail because the white men harassed them. T-ray bails Lily out and find that the men will probably kill Rosaleen. At home, Lily decides to run away. She escapes Rosaline out of the hospital and they head to Tiburon. At their stop they see a pink house. Lily makes up a story and they are invited to stay.

11 He leaves and she calls him “Daddy.”
They learn about the sisters and how they are called, “Daughters of Mary,” and who worship a statue of the Black Mary. Lily meets a black boy, Zack who she has a crush on, and he buys her a notebook. After awhile, T-ray find Lily due to a phone call, and he comes to the house. At the house Lily stands up for herself and tells T-ray she is independent and will not go with him. He leaves and she calls him “Daddy.” The End

12 Criticism 1 New York Times reviewer -Adam Mazmanian "Lily is a wonderfully petulant and self-absorbed adolescent, and Kidd deftly portrays her sense of injustice as it expands to accommodate broader social evils. At the same time, the political aspects of Lily's growth never threaten to overwhelm the personal. The core of this story is Lily's search for a mother, and she finds one in a place she never expected. August and her sisters, June and May, are no mere vehicles for Lily's salvation; they are individuals as fully imagined as the sweltering, kudzu-carpeted landscape that surrounds them. "

13 Criticism 2 “You’ll want to tear thought he pages. Restrain yourself. The beautiful language and seamless unfolding of this well-written story deserve more. It merits sweet time and savoring.” Southern Living “A powerful story…Kidd’s writing is sharp and descriptive. Before the first chapter had ended, I had recoiled, I had cried and I had laughed. I was also entranced, and knew I had to make the journey with Lily, her endearing caretaker Rosaleen and the marvelous Calendar sisters….Let us hope that Kidd has more stores to tell.” – The State (Columbia, South Carolina)

14 Brief Biography Her father was a creative storyteller, and as a child she loved to listen to him. This greatly influenced her later life as she inherited his flair for weaving a tale, a flair which was noticed by her English teachers in school. At age 15, she read “Walden” by Thoreau which outlined the course of her writing career which she was inspired by. In 1970 she graduated from college she became a nurse, got married, had two children It was not until she was nearly thirty that she was able to return to her first love, writing. Her first published work was a personal essay submitted to Guideposts Magazine and then reprinted in Readers Digest. After submitting regularly to Guideposts for a time, she became a Contributing Editor, publishing several hundred articles. 1st novel written: The Secret Life of Bees 1st book: “God’s Joyful Surprise," published in 1988. 2nd book: “When the Heart Waits,” published in 1990. As she learned more about feminist theology, the book “The Dance of the Dissident Daughter” was released, causing some fervor in religious circles.

15 Themes Individual vs. Society Growth of Women

16 Individual vs. Society Lily encounters racism in her society
Father Police Lily overcomes racism by living with August and her sisters Lily supports Zach as he enters a primarily white high school

17 Individual vs. Society in Past Readings
Hester Prynne is forced into isolation Has different feelings on life’s importance Hester refuses to conform Hester accepts and tolerates people She does not judge them

18 Growth of Women In the beginning, Lily accepts the abuse from her father Rebels by running away Inspired by her mother’s picture Learns to grow and be independent from August and the sisters

19 Growth of Women in Past Readings
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the wife is taken into a secluded area without any say Forced to only stay inside her room Restricted of guests Her true self comes out She can no longer conform to what is normal and people’s expectations Her restriction as a woman is gone

20 Key Elements in Short Story
Equality “[June] was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time by her mother and her mother’s sisters. June did this, June did that… and Connie couldn’t do a thing, her mind was all filled with trashy daydreams” (page 1 third paragraph)

21 Women as the main characters, men as the minor characters
“Their father was away at work most of the time and when he came home he wanted supper and he read the newspaper at supper and after supper he went to bed. He didn’t bother talking much to them…” (page 1 third paragraph)

22 Gender/ Sexuality/ Women’s Rights
“Yes, I am your lover. You don’t know what that is but you will… I know that too. I know all about you. But look: it’s real nice and you couldn’t ask for nobody better than me, or more polite. I always keep my word. I’ll tell you how it is, I’m always nice at first, the first time. I’ll hold you so tight you won’t think you have to try to get away or pretend anything because you’ll know you can’t. And I’ll come inside you where it’s all secret and you’ll give in to me and you’ll love me—” (page 8-9 tenth and first paragraph)

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