Prejudice And Discrimination In Kathryn Stockett's The Help

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INTRODUCTION
Prejudice and discrimination based on social perceptions are aspects that have far reaching effects on any human being. Such prejudice and discrimination is the consequence of misplaced belief in the existence of superior and inferior races. This is what influenced Martin Luther King, Jr. to fight for equality in America, a struggle that evidently left a mark in history. He yearned to see a day when there would be no segregation. He memorably said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” - (Jr). Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help shares this same optimism as she focuses on bringing to life, the
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Although Mae Mobley looks up to Aibileen as her role model, “I colored myself black” (409) and this is what she liked most about herself. Miss Taylor, her teacher distorts this notion by scolding Mae Mobley: “Black means you got a dirty, bad face” (409). The adjectives “dirty” and “bad” are negative connotations that are used to describe black people. The teacher aims to enforce the idea that being black meant you were less of a person. Consequently, school is the genesis of racial and social segregation as it is rooted in the child’s mind at an early age. Aiblieen’s efforts to ensure that Mae Mobley’s outlook is different may go to waste but through the use of the parallelism, “You a smart girl. You a kind girl,” (92) Aiblieen is determined to instil self-esteem and build Mae Mobley’s confidence. By doing so, she hopes that Mae Mobley will learn to stand by her opinion. Aibileen leaves her trusting she won’t grow up to be as ignorant and blinded by society, as her…show more content…
The two narrators, Aibileen and Minny, who are ‘helps’, bring to life the issue of racial segregation in the text. The fact that they are ‘help’ allows them to give a credible first-hand account of all the hardships that the black community have to endure. Stockett gives the reader a chance to relate to them as human beings thus recognizing the purposelessness of this racism. Skeeter is arguably the most significant narrator as she is white. Through her, we are not only hopeful for the future of an equal society, but we can also see just how much of an impact racism has on the perception of black people in this society. Most especially, through Skeeter’s unwitting ignorance about black people which is alluded to through her assumption that they were all illiterate. Her inclusion makes the reader empathise with the black people who are unjustifiably isolated by the white
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