The Help Literary Analysis

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“I could tell she don't understand why a colored woman can't raise no white-skin baby in Mississippi. It be a hard lonely life, not belonging here nor there.” Skeeter is having trouble understanding why Constantine gave her daughter Lulabelle up for adoption. Lulabelle's father was black, but she inherits Constantine's father's light skin. As a result, she just won't fit into the closed-minded Jackson society. The Help shows us the inner workings of a segregated society against the backdrop of the growing US Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Although there is some variety in economic and social class, race is the number one determinant of a person's place in Stockett's Jackson, Mississippi. Race also determines who has access to educational, occupational, and economic opportunity. Racial tensions are high as white community members employ violence and coercion to try to keep the Civil Rights Movement from sweeping into their Mississippi town. At the same time, it shows us how, against all odds, Skeeter, a white woman, daughter of a cotton family, joins together with Aibileen and Minny, two black women who work as maids, to challenge the unfair practices that make the lives of the town's black members so difficult.

“I been writing my prayers since junior high. “The Help celebrates writing as a powerful way to create change. This point is subtly reinforced by the fact that Aibileen's writtenprayers are especially effective. This line also shows us that Aibileen is a practiced and disciplined writer well before she starts working on Help. The Help looks at the importance of literature – books, newspaper articles, laws, and bills – in creating, challenging, and changing the racist systems that ruled Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s. It also looks at oral and written storytelling (and even written prayers, in the case of Aibileen) as ways to build positive energy and self-esteem while creating a more just society through increased transparency. Narrators...
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