The classic, heartfelt novel, The Secret Life of Bees, was written by the New York Times bestselling author, Sue Monk Kidd. The novel was originally published on November 8, 2001 and has since been adapted into a film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Both the novel and the film are narrated by a young, determined fourteen-year-old white girl named Lily Owens. Whilst reading the novel and watching the film, there are several recognizable similarities and differences scattered throughout the two.
Between both the novel and the film there are multiple powerful similarities and differences. However, the number of differences between the novel and the film outweigh the similarities drastically. These differences are what have led to the weaknesses and flaws of the film compared to the novel. In both the novel, The Secret Life of Bees, written by Sue Monk Kidd, and the film, The Secret Life of Bees, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the narrator, Lily Owens lives with both her housekeeper, Rosaleen, and abusive father, T. Ray. In both the novel and the film, Lily’s mother passed away while she was only four. The strong themes throughout the novel and the film approach the topics of racism, motherhood, and courage. The concept of bees in both the novel and the film are where the two begin to split in direction. In the novel, the use of bees is loosely ruled as a metaphor for the absence of Lily’s mother. In her bedroom, Lily feels her mother’s presence when a swarm of bees surround her, creating the connection between Lily’s mother and the bees. However, the use of bees in the film was not a metaphor, like the novel, but rather literal information on the keeping of bees, resulting in the lack of depth and message throughout the film.
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There are many fatal differences between the novel and the film that take away from the storyline.
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