Prejudices and Stereotypes

Grades 9-12 | Analysis | Source-Based

Source Lexile®: N/A (No Source Texts Shown) | Learning Standards




In Sue Monk Kidd's novel The Secret Life of Bees, Lily Owens, who is growing up in the segregated south in the 1960s, is generally aware of the racism that saturates southern society. She witnesses many racially derogatory conversations and actions against people of color, even against the Owens' housekeeper, Rosaleen. During one particular confrontation, instead of insisting that Rosaleen pursues her newfound right to vote, Lily only worries about her own safety. Eventually, in a daring act of courage, Lily and Rosaleen run away in pursuit of a better life. When Lily finally encounters the Boatwright sisters in Tiburon, South Carolina, all of her previous prejudices and stereotypes about African-Americans, especially women, are immediately challenged.

Write an essay that analyzes how the Boatwright sisters' personalities challenge the views that Lily had previously held about women of color. Be sure to include textual evidence from the novel to support your analysis.