Rhetorical Devices In The Help

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Kathryn Stockett uses rhetorical tools to portray the differences between her black and white characters. The rhetoric influence affects both the narrative and the portrayal of the character such as the difference in language spoken by the characters. "Dramatic/Narrative criticism focuses on language and other sign systems. Critics believe that language and other sign systems are the grounding for human reality and motivation" (Brummelt 79). Stockett has chosen to write in a stereotypical African-American "slang-like" style filled with spelling mistaken and contractions, leaving the impression on the reader. Both Aibileen and Minny think and speak in less educated and highly accentuated manner which provides an impression of realism; "Course …show more content…

"But symbolism is very fallible, in the sense that it may induce actions, feelings, emotions, and beliefs about things which are mere notions without that exemplification in the world which the symbolism leads us to presuppose" (Whitehead 6). In The Help, chopping down the mimosa tree symbolizes Celia's willingness to take control over her own life. Celia hates the tree and finds it repugnant, but she leaves it for appearance's sake. In a similar way, she tries to adapt with Jackson society, but when she realizes they will never accept her; she decides to take control of her life. She is angry because of this situation, so she decides to express her anger by destroying and removing everything she hates and she starts with chopping the tree, "The rain is pouring down all over Miss Celia, but she doesn't care. She starts chopping at that tree" (Stockett 348). And rather than being a victim of circumstances, she determines to take control and have a new life. Also, Aibileen's bitter seed when she comments, "I . . . feel that bitter seed growing my chest, the one planted after Treelore died" (Stockett 30), is a symbol of the way that personal suffering can grow into a desire to prevent the pain. She feels that her anger is growing inside when Miss Leefolt tells Mae Mobley that Aibileen is dirty and

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