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Lily can't grasp the concept of a nervous breakdown; all she hears is that her mother left her to come to August's house.
Zach is another character who helps her education about race.
Zach is gorgeous, intelligent, ambitious, sexy, and compassionate.
The policeman who comes to the Boatright house and the receptionist at the lawyer's office both disapprove of her living there.
On television every night, Lily sees stories of people beaten and killed because of their race.
Lily ponders the idea of why it is so difficult for people to forgive. Lily's first reaction, when August tells her Deborah married T.
Ray because she was pregnant with Lily, is that it was all her fault that Deborah was saddled with such a terrible husband.She has to go on, realizing she is a human being worthy of love.Lily comes close to forgiving her father at the end of the novel, when she chooses to stay with the Boatrights.Forgiveness In the very first chapter of The Secret Life of Bees, Lily describes her mother, beginning what will be an overarching theme throughout the novel.Lily suffers tremendous guilt for killing her mother, and at night she dreams of dying, meeting her mother in heaven, and asking for her forgiveness.When June reacts to Lily's whiteness with disdain, it occurs to Lily that prejudice can work both ways.Finding out how prejudice feels, Lily begins to understand that character is more important than skin color.The hospital has a separate wing for African Americans, and Christian churches are separated, too.Blacks are not allowed to vote, and are kept from doing so even after a law is passed to specifically allow it.The police routinely allow black citizens, like Rosaleen, to be beaten by their white neighbors.Even Lily understands and believes that African Americans are neither beautiful nor intelligent.