Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The works examined are poetry by Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Audre Lorede, novels by Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees, and a drama by Elizabeth Bussey Fentress, The Honey Harvest. In looking at how the women writers construct identity using bee imagery, I propose that they actually subvert the societal devaluation of women. The beeswax bodies represent gendered constructions of how women should behave. The characters "melt" these bodies by refusing to fit the mold and by redesigning the mold to fit themselves.


English Language and Literature