Conflict In The Help

759 Words4 Pages
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…show more content…
The social groups focused on in this novel are white housewives, whose group consists of Skeeter, the privileged daughter of a farmer, who just returned from college, and “the help” or a group of maids who are of course of African American decent. The help is forced to obey their irrationally needy bosses, cooking for them, cleaning for them, and even raising their children, only to be treated inhumanely and unfairly by petty housewives. For example, one of the housewives, Hilly Holbrook, a seemingly conflicting character alone, was very suggestive of a bathroom act being enforced, which made it mandatory that every home have a separate bathroom for its help as a “safety precaution” because they could transmit diseases through their bodily functions. In situations like these, African Americans were very alienated, and it really displayed the gap in reality for the two groups. This in turn caused conflict between them, as African Americans were looked down at by whites and the whites were seen as threatening and wicked minded by African Americans. A general example of segregation in the help is how a lot of times whites refer to the black people with animal like descriptions to build a barrier between them. Much of the conflict is built around the ignorance of whites towards blacks. The conflict between the help and the housewives emphasizes the theme of segregation. The author, Kathryn Stockett was trying to accurately recreate the injustices of racism back
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