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The Beekeeper of Aleppo


This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the ...
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The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

Created: 06/17/20

Replies: 12

Posted Jun. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 


Posted Jun. 26, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 176

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

Nuri thought about his life tending the bees in Aleppo and was trying to get to Britain to work with Mustafa in the beekeeping business he had started there. He dreamt of his past life tending the bees and viewed that life as having been perfect. His hopes and dreams were to continue with the life he loved in Britain if only he could manage to get there.


Posted Jun. 26, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 174

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

It is only the idea of raising bees in the UK with his cousin Mustafa that keeps Nuri and Afra moving forward in their journey. They represent a return to home, to some sense of normal. Even the wingless bee in the courtyard at the boarding house represents the ability to live after loss. In each instance, bees symbolized hope and life.


Posted Jun. 29, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Loveslife

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 50

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

I love the connection to bees! They represent the necessity for humans to understand that we are a part of the natural world and that world is not something to be ignored or subjugated. The rhythm and hum of the life of the bees and hives represent hope. It keeps Nuri and Afra from being destroyed by the horrible inhumanity forced on people caught in the cross hairs of conflicts like Syria.


Posted Jun. 30, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ireneh

Join Date: 11/22/19

Posts: 31

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

In the beginning of The Beekeeper of Aleppo, we learn that Nuri has made the choice early on to reject life in the fabric business established by his family in favor of raising bees in the desert. If we examine the contrast between the dark, musty and crowded shop Nuri's father and before, him, grandfather, preside over with the open air of the desert, we see one clue to the author's symbolism. Simply comparing the dark of the shop with the pure light of the desert and the static nature of cloth with the dynamic life of the hives provides us with an opportunity to identify with Nuri's choice.
Subsequently, his going out to keep his bees alive and thriving contrasts with Afra's loss of vision, the loss of their son, and the destruction of their home. Somewhere in the midst of this destruction is life, thriving and producing something worthwhile.
Finally, the distant vision of raising bees in a new world, becomes the Holy Grail which moves Nuri and Afra forward through the darkness, hardship and abuse of their pilgrimage toward freedom.


Posted Jul. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AmberH

Join Date: 05/09/18

Posts: 72

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

I loved reading about the lives of bees and particularly about the comfort they brought to Nuri. They are magical creatures and seemed to bring a calmness to his distress.


Posted Jul. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 187

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

Yes, there is a wingless bee that is able to survive; however, the environment had to be adapted to her limited capabilities. The human desire to live is strong and adaptable, but at what cost? The bee was fortunate to find those who would help. Nuri's challenges were more dire with few resources to help.


Posted Jul. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 173

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

As a beekeeper I know how fragile bees are and how dependent on humans they are to provide water, pesticide free flowers and adequate hive space. The care and dedication that Nuri gave to the bees and his joy in the beauty of the honey harvest was a beautiful mental picture of his country before the war. The planning that he has with his friends to recreate their hives in England seems to be what is keeping him going. I loved the tie in with the bees.


Posted Jul. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

I mentioned this is another question, but I found throughout the book when Nuri needed to calm himself or gather his strength for the next phase, he closed his eyes and thought of the bees in Syria. This soothed his soul and gave him the peace of mind to take the next step in his journey- -even if it meant only to sleep. When he found out that Mustafa had been volunteering with a bee training program, Nuri no longer had to look backwards. He had a vision of future potential and joy that renewed his spirit.

I love Tired Bookreader's comments about the wingless bee Nuri found in the courtyard of the B and B. I couldn't help noticing that the B and B "community" stepped up to care for the bee that had been "driven out" of its original home. With a little extra attention and care, the bee was able to thrive in its new environment. kind of like people if they are given the chance, huh?

ireneh, I was moved by your comments as well. It makes me think that there is always darkness before there is light.


Posted Jul. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MimiJo

Join Date: 02/28/20

Posts: 29

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

The bee at the B&B was a symbol of how important bees were to Nuri and this made him want to continue his journey to England to learn more about the different bees there to teach and learn with his friends.


Posted Jul. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
EricaM

Join Date: 09/29/13

Posts: 6

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

I thought that the bee at the B&B was a symbol of Nuri himself. He was broken - had no wings - but was somehow able to survive. Nuri couldn't quite understand how the bee survived, but he was watchful of it and took care of it - as the people at the B&B were to him.


Posted Jul. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 184

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

No one needs a dream more than Nuri. If he can hold on to the dream of raising bees in England with his cousin, then he can continue to face each day. The bees become a symbol of a future and of freedom.


Posted Jul. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Brittany P.

Join Date: 07/14/20

Posts: 15

RE: The author intended for the bees to symbolize hope and life. How do you see that play out over the course of the book? 

In the beginning, when they are still in Syria, I think the destruction of the hives left many readers feeling hopeless and incredibly sad. It really captured the entire situation in Syria and how people's homes were being destroyed and people were being killed or forced to flee.

When Nuri finds the wingless bee and helps to keep it alive, you start to see a shift from hopelessness to a sense that maybe people can endure tragedy and make it through it. That maybe even in the face of incredible loss, we can still make it through to the other side. I've also seen others make comparisons between Nuri and the wingless bee, and I definitely agree with that sentiment.

Finally, when Mustafa shares with Nuri that he has new hives, you really start to feel hope returning to not only Mustafa's life, but Nuri and Afra's as well. It's then that you start to believe that they will be okay and will be able to heal after everything they experienced.


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