During the sixties, segregation was at its all time high. Blacks and whites were separated when it came to about anything. Water fountains, cinemas, and schools are some examples. The South was directly impacted by this cultural trouble. Black women and men were degraded and forced to work under white men in horrible conditions.
Men worked in factories and labor jobs, while the women went from white family to white family cleaning the houses and raising the children. Many books have been written to express these human struggles, but nothing has been made quite like The Help.
The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett is an emotionally driven novel with exceptional characters, and an outstanding plot that centers on intense segregation issues.
Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, which is the exact setting of the book. Even though this is her first novel, it is clear she is a talented and creative author. Her experience with the subject is shown throughout the novel.
She herself had a black maid during this time named Demetrie, who she loved and cared about. Demetrie died when Stockett was 16. For many years, Stockett has wondered how Demetrie felt being black in Mississippi, working for a white family.
According to Stockett, that is the reason she wrote this book, in the hope of finding out the answer within the characters she created.
The novel splits between three major characters: Aibileen, an older black maid who has no husband and no children; Minny, Aibileen’s younger, close friend who is working to support her many children and abusive husband; and Skeeter, a determined, white writer who wants to make a difference.
Stockett starts the novel in Aibileen’s point of view, but throughout the novel she writes in the point of view of Minny and Skeeter as well. She is able to delve into the minds and emotions of these intriguing who play an important role in the plot.