Societal Expectations For White Women Summary

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• Summary
The story begins in August 1962 in the kitchen of Elizabeth Leefolt. Aibileen is caring for the two-year-old Mae Mobley Leefolt. Aibileen's own son, Treelore, was killed before she began working at the Leefolt residence. Treelore fell from a loading dock and was crushed under a tractor trailer. When the story starts it is bridge club day, and Aibileen cleans the house, manages Mae, caters to the women’s needs, and overhears their conversation. The women talk about the upcoming Junior League Benefit, and Miss Hilly tells Elizabeth, Skeeter, and Hilly's mother, Miss Walter, about the Home Help Sanitation Initiative, a bill that requires a separate bathroom for blacks in every white house. During a break in the bridge game, Skeeter finds
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She is expected to be married and to be having babies by the time she is 22 years old. Skeeter's mother considers it her duty to help her daughter, but her attempts are critical and Skeeter is a constant disappointment. Mrs. Phelan says that four years of college is more than enough for a woman. When Skeeter searches the newspaper for a job, she discovers that men are paid more for the same work. The path for white women seems just as narrowly defined as the path for black maids.
Skeeter's relationship with Constantine parallels Aibileen's attachment to Mae Mobley: The bonds between black maid and white child run deep and usually lead to heartbreak for both. The white child often forms a devotion to the maid, which is reciprocated, but the child will eventually grow up to be a future employer with the power. As children they must obey their maids, but when the child matures, the maids become the ones who must obey. Also, even though the bond is strong between maid and child, the parents can sever the bond without explanation. It is an impossible relationship, yet the love between maid and child is a constant theme in Southern
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