Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees--more comments

So, I couldn't really call this an essay, because it is so horrid, hence it's title of more comments. It is certainly not my best writing, I didn't keep track of quotes again either, but with so much discussion going on about this book, maybe no one will notice my poor writing (and run-on sentences).

The importance of sisterhood is the main impression I came away with after reading this book. (Well, that may have been influenced somewhat by Andrea's comments on it). I tend to agree with Andrea on her viewpoints about this book, maybe because we are sisters. Lily was seeking a mother figure, which she found in August, but in general the support all the women gave each was an impressive example of sisterhood. I think Relief Society as it's meant to be would be similar to their friendships and support.

Personally, my best friend had always been my younger sister Kayli (the punk, lazy one who considers this blog too much work, rudie!), and I never relied much on other friends growing up. When Kayli married shortly after we went to college though, my friendship with Kayli abruptly changed. It was only when I married that once again I felt closer to her again. Also, my marriage made me feel much, much closer to Andrea too. With the stresses and problems unique to marriage, I needed more of a supportive sisterhood than the friendship sisterhood I had shared with my sisters before. Who else would I dare discuss the most intimitate of topics and the pains of doing the dishes? Recently, I have developed another close friendship and have so enjoyed having a sister of sorts nearby while my sisters are so far away. The support and understanding another woman can provide is unique, and while my husband is my confidante and closest friend, it's really a relationship on a whole different level (as it should be). Having another woman to discuss "womenly" issues and even sometimes husband-relationships is a wonderful thing. It's makes me feel more normal, if that makes sense--less out of control and more at peace with my life and how's it going. Plus sympathy is just nice once in a while.

The point of this tirade, is that the Daughters of Mary, form that kind of sisterhood. Not only do the actual sisters--May, August, and June--support each other, but they help and support the other women around them, from Rosaleen registering to vote to Lily's mother recovering from her breakdown, to the simple trouble of a husband spending money on a boat (I'd whine to my sisters about that too). I think that is beautiful and part of the special relationship women can share together. Yes, I turn to my husband for help and to be lifted up and I have no secrets from him whatsoever, which couldn't be and shouldn't be said of my sisters, but I am so glad I have the extended net of sisters as well. Personally, I don't think the author was male-negative, simply sisterhood focused. One of my favorite parts was when T. Ray was trying to take Lily home, and the other women arrived. "The four of them lined up beside us, clutching their pocketbooks up against their bodies like they might have to use them to beat the living hell out of somebody. I wondered how we must look to him. A bunch of women--"

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