The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is a wonderful book that takes a look at the social structure of the 1960s Mississippi. Stockett wrote the book to be a satire in a manner of speaking.

The Help is narrated by three women: Miss Skeeter, the only white narrator and an idealist of sorts who comes from a family of means; Minny, a maid since her early teens and isn’t afraid to speak her mind and yet was hesitant at first to do the book; and Aibileen, the maid who is very much the narrator who is in many ways to be middle person for Misss Skeeter and the other maids.

Aibileen is the first person we meet in this novel about writing a book on what it is like to be a black maid in the southern state of Miss. and how the help deal with being treated like the lesser race.

Aibileen works for Leefolt family after their first child, Mae Mobley, is born in August of 1960. Aibileen took the job working the Leefolts after not working for a while due to a battle of depression after her own son died.

Aibileen has raised, prior to Mae Mobley, 16 other white children. Aibileen in every way becomes a sergeant mother to Mae Mobley since Miss Leefolts seems apathetic towards being a mom who raises her kid.

We get a different taste of the help with maid Minny who is more sassy than Aibileen. When we first meet Minny, she was working for Miss Walters – who is the mother of the main antagonist Miss Hilly – and is let go due to the fact that Miss Hilly does not like Minny. So Minny lands a job working for Miss Celia Foote. Miss Celia hired Minny as her first maid and because Miss Celia is a lousy cook and wants to learn how to cook before she tells her husband about Minny.
Thankfully for Miss Celia, Minny is the best cook in Jackson, Miss. And for Minny, working for Miss Celia was a great chance for her because of the fact that no one else would hire her and at the same time, no one would talk to Miss Celia.

On the flip side of the help narrators is Miss Skeeter. Miss Skeeter is the only one of her friends that went to college and did not leave with a MRS degree.

When Miss Skeeter arrives back home to live with her parents, her beloved maid Constantine had left shortly before than.

Miss Skeeter feels at a loss because of this and because her mom was trying to push her to find a man to get married to.

As these three stories and two worlds collide, we see how Miss Skeeter has what is forward thinking for the time and the town. The fact that Miss Skeeter was challenging everything that she grew up with as she spent about a year and a half or so on the book.

Also, we see how the maids put aside their fears to work towards getting equal rights for future generations.

Granted, we can’t forget that this is a piece of fiction. Ida E. Jones, the national director of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH), made a statement about the novel and the movie of the same name.

In the statement that Jones did, Jones points out that this novel did not include the other issues the domestic workers of African-American descent faced, such as sexual harassment.
All though Jones does make a valid point and even though I have put in the same amount of research of the social issues thatAfrican-Americans faced at this time; yet I don’t believe that Stockett was trying to show every negative aspect of these maids.

Also, I feel that Jones is being to critical of the creative work of an author.

Apart from that, I believe that Stockett did this time period justice. Each of the narrators had the right level of English language for their level of education.

Aibileen’s chapters where the hardest to navigate because of her use of the word “a” in place of where the word “of” would be. However, Aibileen still seems to be able to have pretty good use of the English language.

Minny has better use the English language than Aibileen, which is due to the fact that Minny is younger than Aibileen by several years.

Miss Skeeter is clearly the most educate if the three since not only did she finished high school, but she also finished college.

However, with the exception of the usage of phrases, it seems that Minny and Miss Skeeter are almost equals in terms of proper English language usage.

Something I think that was interesting about The Help is that does seem to shows is how the social structure of the south was like just 50 years ago.

Another thing that this book has is that is really nice is the structure. Since we do have three different narrators, the chapter that have a new narrator is shown with her name above the chapter.

I have already touched on the narrators’ use of language. Yet, their use of language also affects the sentence structure slightly.

Aibileen’s sentences seem short – as well as the other two narrators – but you need to know context of what she is say when she uses “a.”

Otherwise, all three narrators seem to have Avery similar sentence and paragraph structure.


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