University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
The Help Reading Response
In the 1960s, Jackson, Mississippi, was essentially operating with black maids raised white children, but weren’t allowed to use the same supermarket, library, or toilet – and certainly weren’t trusted around the good silver. ‘The Help’ is an unforgettable story told from the viewpoints of three very unforgettable women: Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child; Minny, forever losing jobs due to her sassy tongue; and Miss Skeeter, an aspiring writer who has been raised by black maids all her life.
When Miss Skeeter gets the opportunity of a lifetime to become a published author, she of course takes it but in order for this to happen, she has to write about things that people need to read about. In a time when even talking to a black person was shunned, these three women team up on a project that will put them all at risk in an attempt to change the minds of the Jackson residents. What follows was, for me an emotionally compelling story, as we hear stories of cruelty and humiliation but also those of sensitivity.
The Help is a beautiful story about friendship between women who were willing to cross lines and take risks in a time when it was dangerous to make waves or call for change that could result in violence. These women demonstrated a courage that is inspiring and that is what I think makes this book worth sharing others. This book has characters in it that I was able to empathies with and those, of course, who I disliked. The way in which Kathryn Stockett has written about her characters is so believable that that the story was untrue and as I was reading this book, it didn’t cross my mind at all that it was fiction because everything Kathryn Stockett wrote about seemed so believable. It is told in alternating viewpoints from the three main characters which I don’t usually like in books, but this book worked really well and ensures that both sides of the story in this book were seen; from the League ladies such as the truly horrible Miss Hilly, to the maids who work for them and basically raise their children. The characters were well