The Help Prompt

1070 Words5 Pages
The Help: Prompt 5 “What, you’d kick me out [of the junior league committee]? For disagreeing with you?’’ (Stockett, 10) says Skeeter Phelan, in response to Hilly Holbrook. This quote shows the attitude of a young woman who was confident enough to stand up to the city bully. Hilly Holbrook was a powerful character in this novel because of her thirst for leadership, guaranteed potential, and attention. She was demanding with her words and made it very clear to the neighboring residents of Jackson, Mississippi that she owned the town like a queen. The women of Jackson were too afraid to stand up for themselves like Skeeter achieved against her. Hilly often claims her position of power with her philosophy of ‘doing anything to protect the town’…show more content…
For example, when she finds Skeeter carrying around a book of Jim Crow laws to help her write her book, she assumes Skeeter is up to something that she doesn’t know about. Being as nosy as she was to expose people, she was “going to figure it out if it killed [her].” (Stockett, 353). She also tried to get Skeeter in trouble for writing the book and associating with colored people: “Well, I one-hundred-percent know you wrote it because there isn’t anybody else in town as tacky as you. Taking up with Nigras like that.” (Stockett, 495) In addition to her tattling, Hilly uses insults to present herself as an arrogant, egotistic, pretenious individual; she doesn’t do this on ‘purpose’, of course. Hilly’s maid, Yule Mae, stole a ring from Hilly that Yule Mae “felt she owed me for everything I’d been through working for her.” (Stockett, 294). Hilly had her maid sent to jail for such an incident. Being the character Hilly is, she most likely did it out of spite, for power, and to show the other maids of her authority. A powerful character like Hilly could win the town over with a flash of a smile. But when the possibility of her being revealed is an option, it could tear down her reputation the executive of the…show more content…
In all of the excitement of the toilet trick that Skeeter played on her, bridge clubs, and Junior League committee, Hilly wouldn’t have expected this book to come out. Hilly read the book and “told everybody the book’s not even about Jackson.” (Stockett, 492) because of what her previous maid, Minny, had added about the Terrible Awful. The Terrible Awful was a nasty trick that Minny played on Hilly to make Hilly suffer from all the things that she made Minny suffer from. Hilly didn’t want anyone to know about what Minny did to her, so she used her influence on others to make them think the book had nothing to do about Jackson so she wouldn’t be embarrassed. Her powerful figure was deteriorating behind that strong face of hers. If Hilly’s secrets were exposed, her whole reputation would be lost and people would shun her the way she told everyone to shun the people that she didn’t like. Not only for the first time in her life did Hilly start to realize she wasn’t as powerful as she thought, but she couldn’t do anything about getting people into trouble if she didn’t wanted to be exposed. She shunned Celia Foote because she’s a “tacky girl” (Stockett, 7), but Minny told her the Terrible Awful story so Hilly was forced to turn herself around so Celia would not reveal her as “Two-Slice Hilly” (Stockett, 402). Aibileen, a maid of one of Hilly’s friends, finally let Hilly know that if she did go to jail for writing the book,
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