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"The Help" - Kathryn Stockett

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Celine Niemitz-Rossant

on 26 August 2013

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Transcript of "The Help" - Kathryn Stockett

"The Help" - Kathryn Stockett
Based on her personality, her actions and her relationships to her daughter Skeeter and her maid Constantine, is Charlotte Phelan considered a sympathetic or unsympathetic character?
Celine Niemitz-Rossant
Part 1: Personality
Part 2: Relationship to Constantine
Part 3: Relationship to Skeeter
"Mother rises from her chair, comes close so I'll look her in her smooth, pretty face. She's wearing a navy blue dress, narrow along her slim bones. As usual her lipstick is just so, but when she steps into the bright afternoon sun, I see dark stains, deep and dried, on the front of her clothes." (p.55)
Outward portrayal: respected, proper woman
Behind the facade: concern, vulnerability and weakness
"The Help" - Kathryn Stockett , 2009, Penguin Books, 2010
1960s: Jackson, Mississippi
Mrs. Charlotte Boudreau Cantrelle Phelan
Skeeter's mother
Constantine's employer
Treatment of Constantine: professional, but love behind harshness
Ultimatum: reveals roots of racism, desperation and pride
Caught in expectations of society
Lie to their daughters
Eventually deal with consequences
"Don't let him cheapen you. (...) If Stuart doesn't know how intelligent and kind I raised you to be, he can march straight on back to State Street. (...) He doesn't know how lucky he was to have you." (p.357)
"I used to dash by, feeling like a dartboard, a big red bull's-eye that Mother pinged darts at." (p.63)
Tough love: wants the best, but doesn't acknowledge Skeeter's desires
Unsympathetic: uptight facade, deep racism, critisism of Skeeter's looks
Sympathetic: sickness, care for Skeeter
Devices used by the author: parallel figures, different layers in a character, pity and hope
"Sorry is the fool who underestimates my mother." (p.357)
"I have decided not to die." (p.384)
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