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The Help study guide contains a biography of Kathryn Stockett, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. 1960s, but some people have alleged that this novel perpetuates a subtler version of racism. Do you think this claim has merit? I think this claim does have merit. At the end of the novel, Skeeter lands a prestigious job in New York City on the basis of the book she wrote about the maids, but the maids themselves find their circumstances unchanged. Minny’s husband has been fired from his job on the basis of her work on the book, and she must leave her family before her husband kills her. Aibileen is fired from her job with the Leefolts due to Hilly’s interference.
Skeeter and the maids did not benefit equally from the publication of the book. In the same way, the author Kathryn Stockett may have benefited financially and professionally from exploiting the stories of the maids in her own life. The novel takes place nearly a century after the end of slavery, yet many of the black characters in the book still work extremely demanding and unpleasant jobs. Aibileen mentions that her mother was a maid and her grandmother was a house-slave. She also says that her mother pulled her out of school in order for her to start work as a maid, because she needed to support the family. Without education, she cannot move to another job.
Hilly’s treatment of Yule May, who is one of the most educated maids in Jackson. The novel depicts very warm relationships between black maids and the white children they care for – Aibileen and Mae Mobley, Constantine and Skeeter. However, these relationships are also marred by racial and economic inequality. Can there be genuine affection in such a complicated and unequal relationship?
Can you compare the relationships depicted in this book with your own experiences of caregiving? I think there can be genuine affection in such a complicated and unequal relationship. After all, an adult must have some tender feelings for the child, or else he or she would just quit the job. Aibileen mentions that she has become a specialist at raising children, which shows that she chooses this line of work because she likes it. Her relationship with Mae Mobley is similar to my experiences babysitting for a local family. Some people might think that just because I was being paid for this work means that I didn’t really care for the child, but in fact I worked even harder at this job because I cared so much for the child.
Why does Skeeter give Stuart a second chance after their first date was so disastrous? Do you think this was her own choice, or was she pressured to do this? Would you have made the same choice that she did? I think Skeeter was under some pressure from her mother, Hilly, and society to give Stuart a second chance.
Skeeter’s mother was constantly asking why she did not have a steady boyfriend, and Hilly wanted Skeeter to date Stuart in order to further her own husband’s political career. Skeeter was also the only one in her friend group who was not yet married, so she was probably more likely to give Stuart a second chance than another woman in a similar situation. I would not have made the same choice as Skeeter, because I believe that Stuart ruined his first impression by being drunk and rude during their first date. Behaving in such a way during a first meeting is not a sign of good things to come. How does the author create such characters, and what sorts of literary strategies does she use? Focus your analysis on one character.
I will look at the character of Minny. To create a unique voice for Minny, the author uses a form of African-American vernacular when writing from her perspective, which differentiates her from Skeeter and other white characters. Unlike the other narrators, Minny frequently makes sarcastic and funny remarks. For example, when she gets the job with Celia, she notes, “Relief hits me.
I don’t have to move to the North Pole. This gives the reader the impression of a person who likes to keep certain things to herself. Chapter 25 is the only chapter in the book that is written in the third person. Why do you think the author chose to do this?