Book-Film Comparison
When comparing the movie of The Secret Life of Bees to the novel the major difference is in the depiction of the traditions and legends that the Boatwright sisters live by. Some of the traditions are alluded to in the movie, such as covering the beehives in black when someone dies. In the movie we see a brief scene of August covering the hives with black cloth. However, in the book we find out that it is an old beekeeper tradition based on an old legend and has more meaning than simply mourning. This extra background enables us to better understand the significance of what is happening. The director of the movie most likely left this out because he decided that other parts and explanations were more important to the story as a whole. Other traditions were completely omitted from the movie. One such tradition was the Mary Day celebration. There is no mention of this annual celebration in the movie, yet it is a large part of the book. In the book the Mary Day celebration helps the Boatwright sister move on from their sisters death and continue on with life. By doing something familiar and joyful they are able to realize that although they miss their sister they can continue on living as they did before. In the movie there is not much about how they move on instead life continues and eventually everyone is back to their normal selves. The movie director chose to leave this part out because in the movie having a celebration right after May’s death would have ruined the mood and confused the viewer. However in the book the author is able to space out the death and celebration more; as well as convey the characters actual feeling instead of just what they are doing. Therefore, Mary Day seems more of a way for them to move on instead of a celebration. These omissions from the movie do diminish some of the understanding available in this story but overall the movie captured the essence of The Secret Life Of Bees.

Movie Trailer