Social Norms In Kathryn Stockett's The Help

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In Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, characters’ actions demonstrate the importance of finding one’s inner voice and making right decisions even though they go against social prejudice. As the novel suggests, women live in Jackson are expected to play the role of virtuous wives and caring mothers. Miss Celia is one of the characters that suffers from the gender stereotype and is not able to control their own life. Fortunately, she finally overcomes these gender norms and decides to present her true self. After the Benefit, Minny tells Celia the pie story about Miss Hilly, which motives Celia to cut down the Mimosa tree. Minny states her observation by saying,” I heard a groan and see the tree crash to the ground, leaves and dead fronds fly…show more content…
Hence, Celia reluctantly traps herself at home every day to maximum her chance of becoming pregnant. Chopping down the mimosa tree symbolizes that Celia successfully overcomes the social norms and decides to take control of her own life. In addition, Celia’s action of chopping down the mimosa tree demonstrates Celia’s character development. Earlier in the book, Celia’s detestation of mimosa tree is mentioned several times; however, she is afraid of chopping down the mimosa tree as doing strenuous physical activity may causes miscarriage. After the Benefit, Minny’s story gives Celia the courage to overcome the gender stereotype and express the true aspect of herself. Moreover, the incident of chopping down the mimosa tree advances the plot of the story. Before the Benefit, Celia tries to be adopted in Jackson’s society by actively contacting her neighbours, and attempts various methods to increase her chance of having a baby. However, Hilly’s disgusted attitude towards Celia makes her realize that Hilly will always hate her despite what she does, and she is unable to adopt the society as all the ladies are jealous of her
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