In "The Thematic Paradigm" Robert Ray argues that American movie heroes can be classified as outlaw heroes or official heroes or the merging of the two (the reluctant hero). This he says reflects the contradictory ideologies (which include individual and community values) which underpin American society. Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan in The Help (2011) and two other women in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960s cross racial boundaries to write a book that forever changes their town and the way women view one another. Skeeter is an outlaw hero, and this can be demonstrated by using Ray's criteria of "aging," "women and society," and "politics and the law." Skeeter’s character represents Ray’s theme of “aging” as an outlaw hero.
By an anonymous writer later revealed as Skeeter also known as Eugenia Phelan. Skeeter, a white woman, returns to her hometown (Mississippi) to discover that her motherly nanny Constantine has left but no one tells what happened. Soon Skeeter realizes the injustice her society practices and decides to write a book where voices of black will be raised. She approaches Aibileen for sharing her narrative to which Aibileen responds positively and also let’s Minny in their secret. Minny, Aibileen’s friend, another black help, reveals a secret about Miss Hilly that ensures Miss Hilly’s silence after the publication of their writing project.
To most of her neighbors, women went to college to find a husband, not get a degree. When Skeeter began writing The Help, she and the maids faced the threat of arrest or worse for what they were writing (Taylor). This scares her, but also makes her all the more determined to write what people have been hiding. Skeeter believes in writing the truth, even if it is not what people want to hear. She realizes how theses laws restrict anyone who supports blacks and wants to tell the truth of how they are treated.
She feels that the way black people are treated in Jackson is unfair. She’s kept quiet for awhile, but the opportunity comes for her to write about it and possibly help things, so she took it. Skeeter is an aspiring writer who is very independent. She’s been given the chance to write a book and possibly get it published, so she decides
The profound novel, The Help, can be interpreted as having many themes and subliminal messages about life, but to truly understand the meaning of them, the conflicting points must be recognized. Due to the fact that the setting of the novel is during segregation, the friction between blacks and whites is what creates the novel. Although it is easily recognizable that one of the main conflicts is segregation, there is a major conflict between two prominent characters, Hilly and Skeeter, wealthy white women. Some of the issues within this novel lye in location and the social aspects of living in a small southern town in that time. There are several underlying conflicts in The Help, but the main one that sets up all the themes are the conflicts
Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, is not just about overcoming racism, but also about overcoming the constant human power struggle. The novel also showed how people treated each others, regardless if they were the same race. Throughout the book, Skeeter is ignored and cut-off by her friends while Minny is abused by her own husband. These two events happened even though each was the same race. Even the woman Minny worked for was being ignored because of who she married.
Minny and Aibileen helps Miss Skeeter write a book called “The Help” and the people they work for, in an attempt to open people’s eyes as well as trying to change things for the blacks in the community and how they would get treated. The book is what helps Minny break away from Hilly Holbrook and Leroy. Some incidents occurred within the book that helped Minny free herself from Hilly. One was just by speaking and telling Miss Skeeter everything that went on while she worked for Miss Hilly, however what really secured everything including the book is her including how Miss Hilly ate the chocolate pie with human waste in it. When Miss Hilly read this book she attempted to come after Minny by getting Aibileen fired.
Even the Littlest Things Make a Difference Someone once said, “Judging a person doesn 't define who they are... it defines who you are”. Scout, the main character of To Kill a Mockingbird, and Skeeter the main character of The Help, do not believe in judging other people until they really know that person. Scout is not a typical girl like her aunt wants her to be. Scout stands up for her family such as Atticus.
As Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny get closer finishing their book, Hilly gets more aggressive and serious with her threats. After Skeeter posted Hilly’s newsletter with a ‘typo’ that gave Skeeter a motive to place 32 toilets in Hilly’s yard, Hilly finally decided to remove her as editor of the League’s newsletter to save her and the League’s reputation (Stockett 412-3). Toward the end of the novel, Hilly has figured out the novel Skeeter has wrote is about the maids of Jackson, Mississippi, but she cannot tell anyone because of a story Minny put in there. However, it does not stop her from having people fire their maids even if she has no reasoning behind it. This leads to her convincing Miss Leefolt, Aibileen’s employer, to fire Aibileen as a maid for ‘theft’ of Hilly’s silver which was a cover up to Hilly’s real motive for firing her (Stockett 518-22).
In the movie The Help directed by Tate Taylor, Skeeter is able to make her mother feel regret for firing her maid Constantine, and in fact, her mother is so changed, she later stands up to further racist attempts to silence Skeeter. This shows that Skeeter uses her feelings along with her mother’s to make her mother feel guilty about firing her childhood maid. Constantine raised Skeeter, and for Skeeter’s Mom to fire her other mother figure, is pretty hard to take in. Especially because she fires her for no good reason, which alone shows the injustice. Her mother realizes what she did was wrong, and changes her views on African-Americans.
A young college graduate, Skeeter, returns home to be with her ailing mother, and in her ambition to succeed as a writer, turns to the black maids she knows. Skeeter is determined to collect their oral histories and write about a culture that values social facade and ignores the human dignity of many members of the community. Two maids, Aibileen and Minny, agree to share their stories, stories of struggle and daily humiliation, of hard work and low pay, of fear for themselves. It is a time of change, when
Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, attests to the hateful and cruel reality that is the life of African Americans in Jackson, Mississippi circa the 1960’s. Stockett writes many anecdotes surrounding the relationship between Constantine, an African American maid, and the child she cares for, Skeeter. Skeeter reflects upon a memory of Constantine and
In the Help, Skeeter has to sacrifice her relationship with all of her friends in order to stand up for what she actually believed in. She wanted to make a major change in the way things worked in Jackson because she kept a relationship with her maid, Constantine. Sacrifice is key with all of the maids and Skeeter because it is the obstacle of actually writing the book. Every writer has to make sacrifices when writing a novel. Skeeter is a great representation as she loses her friendships, her relationship with Stuart Whitworth, and spending time with her sick mother in order to make a bigger change.
The character of Aibileen is often depicted as a symbol of courage and perseverance; throughout the story, she is often shown endangering her life in many different ways trying to contribute to Skeeter’s book. While she was overcoming the grief of her sole son’s unlawful death, Aibileen soon begins to realize that she wanted to make a change in the way Caucasians saw African Americans and ultimately achieve her son’s goal. Although the persona of Aibileen initially feared to help write Skeeter’s book, she later ends up agreeing. During the time she felt intimidated, she mentions the severity of punishments for crimes where African Americans express their political/social opinions and/or do something considered ethically wrong by