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The Help Film/Book - Essay Example

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The ‘blacks’ as they were called by the ‘whites’ (non-African American People generally of European descent) suffered a great deal of ordeal in the form of segregated and third class living. They had no means to education esp. higher level studies; they were discriminated in jobs and were considered only fit for menial jobs like gardening, house-keeping, laboring in farms etc. In short, even after the end of slavery after the Civil War which was spearheaded by Abe Lincoln, the African American people lived a life of servitude and the slave mentality had not gone completely out of the mind of the white American. The African American community fought for their Civil Rights such that they could obtain enfranchisement and end segregation. The novel, The Help helps in stating this problem by exposing almost all of its facets and then providing a voice to the injustice and then coming up with a solution. The novel in its entirety covers the entire African American Civil Rights Movement in its own way and helps in providing the solution although it ends quite arbitrarily without depicting the ramifications of the act of defiance on the whole white community of Jackson, Mississipi. ...
The antagonist in the novel is Hilly Holbrook who represents the archetype of the manipulative racist white American except that it was in a womanly way which is quite obvious since she is a woman. She was a proponent of separate toilets for the help (house maids) which were to be situated outside the house and was proposing a bill (Home Help Sanitation Initiative) legalizing the former and forbidding the usage of the house toilet by the help and considering it as an offence. Both Minny and Aibileen suffered directly or indirectly through the hands of Mrs. Holbrook. While Minny used to work as a house maid in Mrs. Holbrook’s house. She was fired from work by her for using the house toilet. She commits an act of vengeance by baking a pie with her feces in it for Mrs. Holbrook. But then in turn she had to suffer the wrath of Mrs. Holbrook when she spread her word defaming Minny as house maid and as a consequence of which none of the other ladies of Jackson would employ Minny. Aibileen suffered when she was fired by her employer, Mrs. Leefolt on Mrs. Holbrook’s instigation. The sufferings of Aibileen and Minny and the other African-American house maids mirrors what the entire African American community in the USA was facing during those hard times. The racial segregation was the paramount problem in those times esp. in the southern states like Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama etc. Enfranchisement and social and economical justice of the African American were their other significant demands. The ‘blacks’ had no rights to vote and their names were stricken off roll lists and they had poor job opportunities. The novel helps in eliciting the various methodologies that were adopted by the African-American people in their quest for civil rights. The defiance ...Show more
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Summary

THE HELP The Help (2009), written by Kathryn Stockett, is a novel based on the lives of African-American women who worked as house maids in the 60s and the discrimination and persecution which they faced. Based in the city of Jackson, Mississippi, the novel revolves around the Civil Rights Movement period in the United States of America…
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