April 01, 2004

tortured by Martians...

Ok, so no one is being tortured by any beings from a far-off planet (though Professor Jerz seems to think that they have implanted computer chips into some people's brains? lol) but this is how Lily tries to get her point across to her dad in a letter in The Secret Life of Bees. "If you were being tortured by Martians and the only thing that could save you was telling them my favorite color, you would die on the spot."(161.) Now this certainly sounds like how I would talk when i was about 14 years old, especially if I was bitter about my father. However, there are many instances in the book where the narrator (Lily) sounds a little older beyond her years. This was brought to my attention first in a comment Professor Jerz made in Chelsie Betz's blog, and then again in class tonight.

There are, indeed, some times when I had to stop and think while reading, "I don't think that I ever talked like this when I was her age."

"Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long." (170).

Ok, I don't really think I have ever had that deep of a thought whenever I was her age. Which leads me to believe that Lily was just wise beyond her years because of all she had to go through. She didn't have a mother, T. Ray obviously was never there for her when she needed someone; she was practically on her own. Also, she was a very intelligent girl, and had been told she could be a writer or an English professor. So this also tells me that she probably read alot of books (i.e. when she snuck books to the peach stand), and picked up a rather extensive vocabulary. Books were probably her way to escape the outside world, I know that's what happens to me when i read a book, so obviously Lily would want to read as much as she could. That's my take on the "voice" of the novel.

Posted by MeghanKite at April 1, 2004 08:19 PM

So... Lily knows about both the Martians *and* the steel plate head instert. Hmm... what does that tell you? :)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 1, 2004 09:24 PM
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