Skip Nav

The Help Critical Essays

See a Problem?

❶It looks at the civil rights movement from a different angle as it uses maids who help in a very different way, as they simply describe their work so it can be printed into a book.

Navigate Guide

Kathryn Stockett
Not what you're looking for?
How to cite this page

On the opposite side is Mrs. Celia Foote again, who embraces her gender wholeheartedly. Celia often tries too hard to seem like a woman, constantly trying to impress the high society ladies, and failing miserably in the end.

The femininity of the women, or lack thereof, shows how the times were changing. While most families were still run by the man of the family, the women are the true backbone of the household. And the ideas of specific gender roles are slowly blurring, leaving room for women to be who they are, without becoming e outcasts for doing what it takes to survive.

The Help would be a much different book without the important uses of the gender concepts. Essay UK - http: There are UK writers just like me on hand, waiting to help you. Each of us is qualified to a high level in our area of expertise, and we can write you a fully researched, fully referenced complete original answer to your essay question. Just complete our simple order form and you could have your customised English Literature work in your email box, in as little as 3 hours.

This English Literature essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. Essay UK, Book review essay: If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal:.

Essay UK offers professional custom essay writing, dissertation writing and coursework writing service. Our work is high quality, plagiarism-free and delivered on time. Registered Data Controller No: Accounting essays Architecture essays Business essays Coursework Economics essays Education essays Engineering essays English language essays English literature essays. Medicine essays Miscellaneous essays Psychology essays Religious studies essays Science essays Sociology essays Essays menu.

About this resource This English Literature essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. Order a custom essay Print this page Search again Word count: This page has approximately words.

But the pages turned, and when I next looked up at the clock, a few hours had passed and I was well on my way to the halfway point. There are countless trite episodes in The Help , standard plot fillers that can be found in both heaving Harlequin romances and sucky Oprah Book Club fodder.

But there are more moments of striking beauty, humanity, and humor, even if the ending is a bit of a cop-out.

Is The Help Great Literature? Is it a fast and enjoyable read? So congratulations, Whitey McWhiterson, I wound up not hating your book. And God knows I tried. View all 39 comments. Jun 17, Annalisa rated it it was amazing Recommended to Annalisa by: Here is an illustrative tale of what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the s in racially conflicted Mississippi. Stockett includes this quote by Howell Raines in her personal except at the end of the novel: There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that o Here is an illustrative tale of what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the s in racially conflicted Mississippi.

There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism. I did not expect this book to hit so close to home. After all, I did not grow up in the South and completely missed the racial mind shift in the country.

And I did grow up in South America with a maid trying to keep herself out of poverty by making our crazy family happy. As much as we loved her, I can see so many of the pitfalls from these complex relationships in my own history. I know our maid was stuck between pleasing my mother and raising us the way she believed appropriate.

She had absolutely no power, and yet she was all powerful to shape and mold us. I needed her, felt bad for how much I imposed upon her, but I never voiced how much I appreciated or loved her.

I took her for granted. Even though she was paid to love us, I know she did. We were her children, especially my youngest brothers. And yet when she moved back home, we lost contact. Was it out of laziness of our own narcissistic lives or was the complexity of our relationship so draining she cut the tie? It is my fear that she thinks we did not return her affection and only thought of her as the maid.

I often think about her, we all reminisce about her wondering where she is, and more than anything, I just want to know that she is happy and tell her thank you. It is so strange that someone who is such a vital part of your childhood can just vanish out of your life. You only get one in a lifetime. Believe me, I know.

The story is strong and real and touched something deep inside me. I could so relate to the motherly love from Constantine to Skeeter, see that pain in the triangle between Aibileen and Mae Mobley and Elizabeth, feel the exasperation of Minny toward Celia, and understand the complexity of the good and bad, the love and hate, the fear and security.

Stockett captured all these emotions. I also loved the writing style. When style compliments plot, I get giddy. The novel is about a white woman secretly compiling true accounts of black maids--and the novel is in essence a white author trying to understand black maids.

The styles parallel each other as do the messages. The fictional novel cover is decorated with the white dove of love and understanding. To get us there, Stockett gives us three ordinary birds, a picture of ordinary life asking to be accepted for its honest simplicity. From the first page, the voice of the characters took vivid form and became real, breathing people. My favorite scene was when Hilly says they have to be careful of racists because they are out there.

She lived this book to some extent and the story is a part of her. View all 40 comments. Mar 15, Ellen rated it it was ok Shelves: The Kindle DX I ordered is galloping to the rescue today AND, for all the book purists which would include me , this is a need , rather than a want. However, despite the visual challenges, I read all pages of The Help yesterday.

Clearly, the book held my interest. What goes on in the homes of the upper crust? How do these women really treat their maids? Though the book would be published anonymously and no locations would be given, the stories provide enough detail so that the premise that the book could be received as being about Anywhere, USA defies belief. For the maids, discovery would mean loss of a job with no hope of getting another position and retribution that could include being falsely accused of a crime and jailed or even being injured or killed.

Despite the underlying tension and references to violent events that do occur, the book teeters. At times, I was furious and in tears over the effing racism and the tragedies described.

But Kathryn Stockett keeps pulling back. What these women endured deserves more. View all 53 comments. It more or less rubbed me the wrong way. It reads like the musings of a white woman attempting to have an uncomfortable conversation, without really wanting to be uncomfortable. The national fascination with this book makes me sick. It makes me think of my grandmother who was "the help" to many white families for well over 50 years.

In fact, I think she we would be horrified at the thought that her years of hard work in some cases, for some very horrible people would be reduced to some wannabe feel good story of the past. View all 55 comments. Nov 27, Lola rated it really liked it Shelves: You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today? B-but… The Help is different. We all want to live our lives the best way possible and be treated with respect.

Miss Skeeter is also an important part of this story. She faces obstacles, so many of them, but does she ever back down? No, because when she believes in something, no one can kill her spirit. He is the most frustrating part of the story, really. We hate him, we love him, we like him and then we hate him for the rest of the book.

Never fear, the underlying themes of the story are extraordinary and that alone should make everyone want to read this book. I would also like to take advantage of this space offered to me and recommend the movie. Apr 08, karen rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 84 comments. Apr 02, Kai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Not that much separates us. This novel did so many things to me. There was lots of crying Find more of my books on Instagram.

View all 14 comments. Jan 12, Majenta rated it it was amazing. Celia Foote needs a domestic engineer, but she also needs a friend, a real ally, even a confidante. Oh, one more thing: I think this plotline was my favorite part. But, really, which is the worse attack from Minny: View all 12 comments. Jan 07, James rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this book at least 4 years ago, before I began to more consistently use Goodreads And I wonder how many people just watched the I read this book at least 4 years ago, before I began to more consistently use Goodreads And I wonder how many people just watched the movie I truly think it is a fantastic book, and it makes you really think about what happened in the not-so-distant past The characters are very clear and strong.

And when there are upwards of 10 to 12 supporting or lead female characters, an author has to spend a tremendous amount of time creating distinct pictures in a readers mind. Stockett did a great job with this task. Each and every one shows you a different personality: When a writer can shuffle this many people throughout a story, they have invested themselves into the book, the characters, the setting, the theme, the future.

About Me For those new to me or my reviews I read A LOT. I write A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https: Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. View all 30 comments. Dec 01, Nancy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Audio books are good for me. I was so engrossed in the story and characters that I drove the speed limit on the highway and took the scenic route while running errands.

Sometimes I went out at lunch and needlessly drove in circles, or sat in the parking lot at work, waiting for a good place to stop. It is in Jackson, Mississippi. She is still grieving for her young son, who died in a workplace accident. The story jumps back and forth between the three characters, all of them providing their version of life in the South, the dinner parties, the fund-raising events, the social and racial boundaries, family relationships, friendships, working relationships, poverty, hardship, violence, and fear.

I loved this story! The characters really came alive for me, and the author did a good job acknowledging actual historical events which lent richness and authenticity to the story. I laughed and cried, felt despair and hope. This is an important story that is a painful reminder of past cruelty and injustice.

It shows how far we have progressed and how much more we still have to accomplish. View all 54 comments. Mar 02, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 11 comments. Jul 10, Salome G rated it did not like it. This could have really used a better editor.

We never see why she would want to be friends with either of them, Hilly especially. Other characters were equally unbelievable. All the maids are good people and so gracious to Miss Skeeter, save one. Reading their interactio The story itself: Before reading, my question was, can Kathryn Stockett write this story? I read the whole book. I read the self-conscious afterword. Can Stockett write this story? Well, of course she can. I lean toward no. This is not her story to tell.

And neither did Kathryn Stockett. So she made up the story. And it was still all about the white lady. View all 46 comments. Before she began writing her book, she put up with his secret-keeping and general unsatisfactory treatment of her. By the end, however, she cast him aside because she realized how much better she deserved. I enjoyed parts of this story but for the most part, eh. The ending really bothered me. White lady goes off and gets a great job while the black folks the story was about gets fired which was actually a blessing but a tragedy for the kids and leaves her husband to raise 6 kids alone.

Minny needed to leave Leroy. Elizabeth is still an idiot. There was nothing redeeming in this story. Jun 18, Dana Ilie rated it it was amazing.

There is a lot to like about this book. And I was impressed by the fairly even-handedness of the t There is a lot to like about this book. And I was impressed by the fairly even-handedness of the topic that Stockett managed.

There are good and bad and goodish-baddish people on every side of the issue, and each has different motivations and reasons for being where they are on that side — hate, pride, naivete, personal experiences. Three reasons why I love The Help: It is not a comedy but some lines just had me wanting to read on and on! It is easy to read. Even though The Help talks about a very serious time in American history, the author really thought about how to write the story in a way that it just flows. I really felt a connection with each of the characters.

You get to know them from their point of view. View all 18 comments. Mar 22, Tatiana rated it did not like it Shelves: View all 23 comments. Jul 03, Matt rated it it was amazing Recommended to Matt by: A mix of humour and social justice, the reader is faced with a powerful piece on which to ponder while remaining highly entertained.

In Jackson, Mississippi, the years leading up to the Civil Rights Movement presented a time where colour was a strong dividing line between classes. Skeeter was unwed and with few prospects, though her time away at college left her ready to tackle the workforce until an eligible man swept her off her feet.

Skeeter sought a job as a writer, prepared to begin at the bottom rung, but not giving up on sleuthing around to determine what might have been going on in Jackson. Skeeter scored a job writing an informative column in the local newspaper, giving cleaning tips to housewives in need of a little guidance.

Who better to offer these tips that the hired help of Jackson?! With secret meetings taking place after working hours and Skeeter typing away, a mental shift took place and the idea of class became taboo, at least to some. However, sometimes a book has unforeseen consequences, turning the tables on everyone and forcing tough decisions to be made. Stockett pulls no punches in the presentation, fanning the flames of racial and class divisions, as she depicts a way of thinking that was not only accepted, but completely sanctioned.

Race relations in the United States has long been an issue written about, both in literature and pieces of non-fiction.

How a country as prosperous as America could still sanction the mistreatment of a large portion of its citizens a century after fighting a war on the issue remains completely baffling. While Stockett focusses her attention on Mississippi, the conscious reader will understand that this sort of treatment was far from isolated to the state. One might venture to say that racism continued on a worldwide scale, creating a stir, while many played the role of ostriches and denied anything was going on.

The characters within the book presented a wonderful mix of society dames and household help, each with their own issues that were extremely important. The characters bring stereotypes to life in an effort to fuel a raging fire while offering dichotomous perspectives. The interactions between the various characters worked perfectly, depicting each group as isolated and yet fully integrated.

The household help bring the struggle of the double work day triple, at times while the society dames grasp to keep Mississippi from turning too quickly towards integration and equality, which they feel will be the end of all normalcy. Using various narrative perspectives, the characters become multi-dimensional. Additionally, peppering the dialogue with colloquial phraseology pulls the story to a new level of reality, one that is lost in strict textbook presentation.

Stockett pushes the narrative into those uncomfortable places the reader hopes to keep locked in the pages of history, pushing the story to the forefront and requiring a synthesising of ideas and emotions. While racism is not as sanctioned in as many laws, it remains a strong odour and one that cannot simply be washed away by speaking a few words. This book, as entertaining as it is in sections, is far from fictional in its depiction of the world.

The sooner the reader comes to see that, the faster change can occur. All lives matter, if we put in the effort and have the presence of mind to listen rather than rule from our own ivory towers. Kudos, Madam Stockett for this wonderful piece. I am happy to have completed a buddy read on this subject and return to read what was a wonderful cinematic presentation.

An ever-growing collection of others appears at: View all 33 comments. Apr 17, Thomas rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Originally, I thought this book should have been retitled The Hype. I remember thinking something along the lines of, blah, another story about racism in the old southern days?

Must be the chick-lit version of To Kill a Mockingbird. I was so wrong. There is Skeeter, a twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer who terribly misses her maid, Cons Originally, I thought this book should have been retitled The Hype.

There is Skeeter, a twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer who terribly misses her maid, Constantine. This tumultuous trio takes the first step in sparking a movement that will ignite fire to the racism and hypocrisy of their small town. They are so real, so lifelike, I could feel their thoughts pulsing through my head and their emotions racing through my veins. I was angry alongside them, cheered for them, and cried with them. I think everyone should read this book, especially people who are ignorant about the racism and hypocrisy that still manages to plight everyday society.

Want to read more of my reviews? View all 25 comments. The Help is a touching novel that explores the lives of black maids living in the racially unjust, Mississippi in the s, by using the perspective of two black maids and a female, white writer. Minny and Aibileen are the two maids who are close friends and like many other maids, have spent the majority of their life cleaning up after white families and raising their kids.

Skeeter is the third character the novel centres around, she fondly remembers her own maid, Constantine but lacks informatio The Help is a touching novel that explores the lives of black maids living in the racially unjust, Mississippi in the s, by using the perspective of two black maids and a female, white writer.

Skeeter is the third character the novel centres around, she fondly remembers her own maid, Constantine but lacks information about her disappearance and current whereabouts. Her ambition to write and love for her childhood carer lead her and the maids to eventually come together and become invoved in a dangerous project which puts all their lives at risk. This novel hooked me from the start as it deals with important issues and gives a unique perspective with interesting characters.

It looks at the civil rights movement from a different angle as it uses maids who help in a very different way, as they simply describe their work so it can be printed into a book.

However, it is not as simple as just telling their story as their eventual willingness to outline their work, immediately puts everyone involved in a threatening position. This danger lurks over all the maids involved for the whole story, creating tension and atmosphere.

The novel switches between three characters,Aibileen,Minny and Skeeter. All viewpoints are gripping but for me, Minny was definitely the best and I would have prefered if she had more chapters than Skeeter. The plot was engrossing as there was never a dull moment and no parts I felt needed to be cut out. For me, this was a fantastic book which I thought dealt with racial themes and inequality brilliantly.

This is a book I would definitely pick up again. View all 26 comments. The first third of the book establishes the main characters and their situation and relationships; the rest of it revolves around a dangerous plan to write about their lives: It is a novel about individuals, and makes no pretence of being a history of the civil rights movement, but given the subject matter, it arouses strong feelings see below, including comments, for some of the reasons.

Passions run high in those with direct experience or detailed knowledge of racial issues in the US. My comments are the reaction of a fairly ignorant outsider. There is an awkward pact involved for white mothers: As Skeeter says, "They raise a white child and then 20 years later the child becomes the employer. Not only do some of the white children feel the help loves them more than their own mothers; in some cases they are right, and that causes other tensions and problems.

Yet firing the help is not always an option: The three main characters are very strong women, and each gradually finds the strength to follow her conscience, despite the personal risks, to the point where Skeeter realises "I no longer feel protected because I am white".

They learn, grow, awaken, and take some control over the future. When I read this, I had no idea how accurate any of it is I have subsequently learned of many doubts , but in terms of individual relationships, it rings true to this Brit, especially the different voices through which the story is told.

It was also interesting that the maids were so used to "the lines", that they disliked it when they were crossed, e. Not between her and me, not between her and Hilly".

Yet the maids train their own children into subjugation by teaching the rules "for working for a white lady".

Literary Criticism and Significance

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, during the s. A period that saw the segregation of blacks and the superiority of whites.

Privacy FAQs

Free Essay: The Help The book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, is about a women named Aibileen who is a black maid. She is taking care of her 17th white baby.

About Our Ads

The Help is very critical of the organized racial segregation of the s, but some people have alleged that this novel perpetuates a subtler version of racism. They argue that the novel highlights the ungrammatical speech of the black maids, and makes their story secondary to that of a white woman. The Help is Kathryn Stockett's debut novel. It has been favored by the critics as a highly readable and accurate portrayal of life in Jackson, Mississippi during the early civil rights movement.

Cookie Info

Book Report: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett “The Help” is a novel written by the author Kathryn Stockett, published in and was made into a major motion picture in , The storyline is about a young aspiring writer called Skeeter decides to write a book based on how the black women working as maids in white households were. Below is a free excerpt of "The Help Essay" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples. 'The Help'. A novel by Kathryn Stockett/5(1).