The book “The Help”, written by Kathryn Stockett, is a book that takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, around the 1960's, when the blacks were segregated from the whites. The story is mainly about a black woman Aibileen whose main job is to take care of children as well as to handle household duties. Along the way they meet a woman Skeeter's whose lifelong dream is to become a writer however the only job she can find, is with the Jackson Journal writing a housekeeping advice column which she knows very little about. To succeed in the job, Skeeter turns to her friend's maid, Aibileen, for answers and help to write the column.
The book , The Help by Kathryn Stockett, is about a women named Aibileen who is a black maid. She is taking care of her 17th white baby now. She works for a woman named Miss Leefolt. Aibileen has never disobeyed an order in her life and never intends to do so. Her friend Minny is the exact opposite. When she is around her boss, she has to hold herself back from sassing them all the time. Skeeter Phelan is different than the rest of the white ladies. She thinks that blacks aren’t all that bad. She decides to write a book about the lives of maids for white ladies. Otherwise known as the Help. She with the help of Aibileen and Minny hope to create a book that starts a revolution about what white people think about blacks.
The Help puts most of its attention on the white heroine that possess limited rebellion to the racism that surrounds her (History and The Help). It focuses on the inner self wanting to improve through raising awareness and creating friendships rather than conquering the actual issue. In the process of this, the Civil Rights resistance and complexity of racial relations is downplayed to hit the target audience. This target audience is white women that view themselves as superior. Therefore, the author cannot speak too deeply about the realities of the issue. The film becomes unrealistic in its portrayal of the events and struggles of this time period (Travis).
The novel, “The Help”, by Kathryn Stockett, focuses on the social issue of segregation in the United States, specifically in the south. Stockett demonstrates the issue of racial segregation between blacks and whites in the 1960’s by applying allusions, and point of view.
Theorist, E. Ann Kaplan in her work, “Is the Gaze Male?”, analyses the portrayal of women in film using Laura Mulvey’s “Gaze’ theory and psychoanalysis. In addition, Kaplan states that historically, females have been the central focus on only the melodrama genre, and while melodrama exposes the constraints and limitations that the family places on women, at the same time, gets women to accept those constraints as inevitable and normal. Kaplan argues that our culture is deeply rooted in “masculine” and “feminine, and dominance-submission patterns. In the end, she concludes that the exclusion from male culture provides an avenue to affect change in film and society. I partially agree with Kaplan that some women take pleasure from being the object of the male gaze as I think that is not entirely true, and specifically, this generalization does not apply to lesbians.
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is story about the journey of a young woman, Skeeter, standing up for what she believes in and following her dreams. This story is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960’s, which is the height of the Civil Rights movement period. The story is through the viewpoint of three narrators: Skeeter Phalen, Aibileen Clark, and Minny Jackson. Skeeter is the main narrator out of the three. She is a young white woman returning home after receiving her journalism degree from Ole Miss. She is reuinited by her friends, Hilly Holbrook and Elizabeth Leefolt.. After receiving a job at the Jackson Journal writing for the home cleaning section, she goes to Aibileen, Elizabeth’s colored maid, for help. She and
The Help occurs during the segregation period during the year of 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi. The main character is Aibileen Clark, a 50-year-old African American maid spending most of her life raising white children ever since her teenage years. She works for Elizabeth Leefolt, a wealthy housewife, who is the best friend of the antagonist, Hilly Holbrook. Elizabeth has a child named Mae Mobley whom Aibileen is very close to. Aibileen’s best friend is Minny Jackson; she is a maid who works for Hilly Holbrook and her mother Missy Walters for nearly a decade. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is a young, white American woman, seeks a successful writing career after graduating from the University of Mississippi and returns to home, soon to find out her long-time maid, Constantine, supposedly quit working for her family; this was a great mystery for Skeeter because Constantine did not write to Skeeter explaining why she left. Skeeter found out Hilly Holbrook, Elizabeth Leefolt and their friends believe blacks “carry various diseases to the white people”. Hilly drafted a disease
The characters in The Help were kind of believable,but their roles in the story were very cliché and stereotypical. The characters were basically walking story stereotypes. There’s Minny, the sassy character that makes the plot interesting. Next, there’s Aibileen,silent and submissive character. There’s Hilly, the villian, and finally there’s Skeeter, the sympathetic white savior. Ironically, Mrs. Celia is the only character that adds a bit of complexity, and even she carries the dumb white blonde cliché stereotype on her shoulders.
The Help chronicles a recent college graduate named Skeeter, who secretly writes a book exposing the treatment of black maids by white affluent women. The story takes place in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The death of Medgar Evers triggers racial tension and gives the maids of Jackson the courage to retell their personal stories of injustice endured over the years. The movie depicts the frustration of the maids with their female employers and what their lives were like cleaning, cooking, and raising their bosses’ children. The Help shines a light on the racial and social injustice of maids during the era of Jim Crow Laws, illustrating how white women of a privileged
Throughout The Help, Kathryn Stockett incorporated a variety of cultural themes that are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago when the story took place. The main themes that remain an issue throughout the book are racial discrimination and class limitations as well as restrictive gender roles. These issues help to add to the contemporary value of the book because even though it has been half a century, news headlines involving issues or breakthroughs regarding race and gender are still common, just like in The Help. Probably the biggest cultural significance comes from issues in the book regarding racial inequality. The book takes place in a highly segregated town where African Americans are discriminated against and looked down upon. In modern times, just the year before the publication of the book, in 2008, Barack Obama was elected the first African American president of the United States. This milestone was an incredible accomplishment for African Americans all over. Because all African Americans, men and women both, have been able to vote without any restrictions for over fifty years, the fact that the first African American president was elected as the 44th president was a bit surprising, solely due to the fact that this feat took the amount of time that it did. A breakthrough this monumental shows just how much progress is still yet to be made regarding race in the United States. Another cultural value in the book is the
Based off of Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel, The Help is a movie told from an African American’s point of view during the early 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi. The three main characters include, Aibileen Clark, Minny Jackson, and Eugenia (Skeeter) Phelan. Skeeter is a young writer who has recently returned from the University of Mississippi. She has been advised by the Elaine Stein, who is the head editor at Harper & Row, to write about a topic she is passionate about, that way she can continue her dream of becoming a serious writer. In addition, Skeeter accepts a writing job down at the Jackson Journal where she writes a housekeeping column. Ironically, she has no housekeeping experience as she grew up with in house help. In order to keep her job she goes to Aibileen, her friend Elizabeth Leefolt’s housekeeper. At this point in her life, Aibileen is just trying to get by. She writes out her prayers on a daily basis as a way to clear her mind since she is fairly reserved on the outside. On the contrary, Aibileen’s friend Minny is also a housekeeper, but she has a rather sharp tongue which doesn’t usually work in her favor. Consequently, she is trying to find a new employer, but is having trouble since there is a bit of discord between her and the most influential socialite in Jackson, Mississippi.
Although the maids were struggling and going through a difficult time in 1960’s, The Help portrays that their family members were too. Segregated society against the backdrop of the growing US civil rights movement in the 1960’s has an impacted. “Race also determines who has access to educational, occupational, and economic opportunity. Racial tensions are high as white community members employ violence and coercion to try to keep the Civil Rights Movement from sweeping into their Mississippi town” (Shmoop Editorial Team). The white community in the movie continue to keep the black women as their servants throughout their lives. As Skeeter the white lady, who writes a book about The Help and portrays through the book that the African American women go through. As the white women of Jackson, Mississippi read the book they began to act more violent to the black women. The book is away as the black women to make a statement about the civil rights they have.
Civil Rights literature has been in hiding from the millions of readers in the world. Kathryn Stockett’s book, The Help, widely opens the doors to the worldwide readers to the experiences of those separated by the thin line drawn between blacks and whites in the 1960s. Kathryn makes her experiences of the character’s, making their stories as compelling as her own.
“The Help” is a movie about African-American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi. The two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, tells their side of the story to a young white woman, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, who is a journalist who decides to write a book from the maids point of views. Skeeters intention for writing this book is exposing the racism they receive while working for white families in Jackson. Aibileen Clark takes care of white children and helps raise them and cleans around the house, while her best friend, Minny Jackson, is an outspoken black maid but has a quick short temper which gets her into trouble later on. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is a white single independent woman, she earned a double-major
This code of conduct becomes the social norm, where most people see no other way of life. They become completely oblivious to their wrong ways. Provincialism of the caucasian minority is encapsulated by a quote from Mrs Holbrook, “They carry different diseases than we do. That’s why I’ve drafted the Health Sanitation Initiative.” Clearly ‘they’ is people of colour - this is absolutely false, yet people believed it. A similar quote is used in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ , “Prosecuting comes from people who are prejudice”. It would be impossible for children to escape these beliefs if their teachers, who are pillars in their community, are ignorant of their own bias. Stockett incorporated many examples of inequality and discrimination in ‘The Help’ , and gives readers an insight into the prejudiced actions of people in the 1960’s.