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The Help

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Ellie Cohn

on 16 December 2014

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Transcript of The Help

Language Devices & Figurative Language
Philosophical Questions
Social Justice Issues
Point of View
First person narration!

The narration changes constantly between the three main characters:
, and
By changing who is narrating, Stockett is able to add excitement to her book & lets the audience see the different perspectives of different characters.
Miss Skeeter
Speaks with the least formal diction of the three.

Uses a similar diction, dialect, & jargon as Aibileen and often uses a sassy tone of voice.

She uses a lot of slang and informal diction.

The similarity between Minny and Aibileen demonstrate their racial and lifestyle similarities.

As a journalist, she uses a more formal and sophisticated style of diction.

Talks with less of a dialect and uses less jargon than Aibileen and Minny, but she still does speak with a southern accent

Her language is advanced and proper, representing her college education.

Uses a southern dialect.

Her language and dialect is different from the white women she works for.

Not as advanced and she more slang terms.

Uses a respectable tone of voice and is respected by her peers.

She uses jargon specific to her race and heritage, but also to her job as a maid.

“You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” -Aibileen to Mae Mobley (Pg 107)
"The first interviewee is... eager to tell her story." -Miss Skeeter (pg. 124)
"'I don't know how to cook no chocolate pie' I lie." -Minny (pg. 146)
Narrative - medium sentences.
Dialogue and interior monologue - shorter sentences.

The sentence structure only varies slightly between narrators. For example, Minny and Aibileen use slightly shorter sentences than Miss Skeeter.
Literary Analysis by Ellie Cohn, Julia Long, Emme McManus, & Ramah Dabbas
English 1, Period 1

Book By Kathryn Stockett
"... a bitter seed was planted inside me. And I just didn't feel so accepting anymore." (pg. 3)
The "seed" Aibileen mentions symbolizes resentment towards whites & the rules they made that prevented equality.
So many tones! Because of multiple narrators with different points of view, the tone in
The Help
fluctuates depending on who's narrating and what's going on.
Skeeter: goes from timid, to determined
Aibileen: goes from frightened and a bit resentful, to brave
Minny: goes from hiding her fear behind "sassiness" to finding her courage
"Miss" Skeeter
An educated white woman, who's a little different from the rest of her friends...
All of the characters are dynamic- they all find the courage needed to stand up for what they believe in and write their book.
Motivation: Skeeter had two reasons why she wanted to write the book: 1) to get a job at the publishing company she wants, and eventually, 2) she saw how terribly the black nursemaids had been treated by her friends.
A southern black maid who has “a bitter seed planted inside of her” that causes her to work towards change
Motivation: After her son's death, Aibileen is distraught and discovers just how corrupt the Jim Crow system is in the South, which motivates her to call for change by writing the book. She has also experienced the bitterness of discrimination first hand.
A southern black maid who is treated cruelly because she can’t "hold her tongue."
Motivation: Similar to Aibileen's motivation, Minny is sick and tired of being silenced by her employers. She has also experienced unfairness by being fired for trivial reasons and being accused of stealing. This motivates her to help Skeeter and Aibileen write the book.

expectations as well as legal laws that were implemented back then that are no longer present today.

"No, white womens like to keep they hands clean. They got a shiny little set of tools they use, sharp as witches fingernails, tidy and laid out neat, like the picks on a dentist tray. They gonna take them time with them." (220)

The theme is seen in many situations in The Help. For example, Hilly convinces her friends to build separate bathrooms for their black maids because they carry "different kinds of diseases" Hilly attempts to further segregate the black women from the whites by forcing them to use a bathroom in the garage instead of indoors.

1. Racial injustice
2. Gender
Gender issues are also commonly seen in The Help. As Skeeter observes, in the early 1960s it was normal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, and national origin.

The theme is the central message or idea that the author wishes to convey about a subject.
Racial injustice
The main social justice issue in The Help is Racial injustice and discrimination depending on race. Society has clearly made a set of "rules" that each race has to follow, and by breaking them, you could be putting yourself in danger of prosecution.
Gender discrimination is also commonly seen in The Help. Men are portrayed as being the worker of the family, while women are supposed to stay home. Skeeter frequently saw jobs available that only wanted men.
Sexuality is seen as a social issue in The Help. When Skeeter couldn't find any man that she loved, her mother quickly jumped to the conclusion that she loved women instead of men, and her mom clearly didn't approve of this.
Aibileen says, "Her face be the same shape as that red devil on the red candy box." (2)
Aibileen tells Mae Mobley a story of an alien who was named "Martian Luther King" She tells Mae Mobley that people were mean to him because he was green. (350)
Aibileen says, "Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person." (62)
Skeeter says, "Sorry is the fool who ever underestimates my mother" (128)
Skeeter says, "If chocolate was a sound, it would've been Constantine's voice singing."(67)
Aibileen uses imagery to describe how much power white women have over African-American women.
When people in the future look back at our time period, what will they think we did that was ignorant and hypocritical?

Same-sex marriage
The influence wealthy people have on the government
The setting takes place in the heart of the South, Jackson, Mississippi from 1962 to 1964.

The mood or atmosphere is effected by the setting because there were social rules and
Full transcript