The Imitation Of Life And The Help

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The Imitation of Life and The Help are both movies that revolve around black maids helping white families take care of their children and houses. In The Imitation of Life, Bea is a single mother raising her daughter, Jessie, while also trying to find a stable job to support her family. This is when Delilah shows up, with her daughter, Peola, asking for a room to stay in in exchange for a job that involves taking care of Jessie and Peola and keeping the house in order. In The Help, Skeeter, an up and coming journalist during the civil rights movement, heads home to Mississippi after graduating college to find a job writing for the local newspaper. Upon her return she finds that her old maid was unfairly let go and this encourages her to write a book that shows how the black maids in Jackson are being treated unfairly by the white home owners. The main themes that are dealt with in both The Imitation of Life and The Help are race and society and class. Race is a very serious matter, especially in the 1930’s for a young mulatto like Peola, in The Imitation of Life. Peola grew up with lighter skin than her mother and throughout her life she has struggled with trying to pass for a white girl. When she was able to go to school she went to an all-white school, until one day when her mother came to pick her up from school. The school found out that Peola was actually white and they had to send her to an all-black school instead. This is what started the rocky relationship between
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