Sockets, discusses about racism which prevails in Jackson, Mississippi in the sass. Abilene and Ninny are two black maids who work for the White wealthy families as their maids. They discontent with the social norms that the Blacks are inferior and they should be segregated from the Whites. Under the encouragement of Eugenia Skitter Philae, a white aspiring writer, Abilene and Ninny decide to put their stories into a book, the Help, which includes the working experience in the Whites’ families with other maids. At the same time,
Abilene teaches and inspires Mae Mobile, a White baby girl she takes care of, the idea of equality as she thinks line should not exist between the Blacks and Whites. In the novel, it suggests racism is taught rather than inherent as children learn different perspectives of racism at home and school, but most of them turn to be racists by the social pressure which reinforces what they have learnt in the childhood. The novel tells child apprehends the concept of racism at home as Abilene teaches Mae Mobile not to be a racist by implanting the idea of Justice in her mind.
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Many people believe infant is pure. Their brains are like blank papers as no moral values and social norms have been implanted in their minds. They start to learn and absorb different knowledge surrounding them when they grow up as a child. However, most of them are still lacking of the ability to do critically thinking and value judgment. Child spends most of their time at home before studying at school and they learn from their guidance. By giving love and time, Abilene tries hard to blur the lines and builds up a sense of equality between races in Mae Mobiles mind. She take it real serious, the unwrapping, letting me tell the story bout how it anti the lour the wrapping that count, it’s what we is inside” (349. ) By telling secret stories to Mae Mobile, Abilene teaches her the importance of valuing others based on their personalities instead of skin-colors. Blacks and Whites have no big difference except the superficially skin-colors. There should not be any line to exaggerate the difference between them. She wants Mae Mobile to focus on the person’s character rather than their outsides.
Other than that, Abilene gives Mae Mobile a conception of equality by showing the dissatisfaction of the social segregation in front of the Whites. When Miss Hilly asks Abilene whether she would like to go to a school full of white people or not. As she doesn’t want Mae Mobile to hear her agreeing with the question, she replies “Not a school full a Just white people. But where the colored and the white folks is together. ” Other that directly learning from what the guidance teaches, child likes imitating their role models.
Abilene is Mae Mobiles role model as she spends most of the time with her, gives encouragement to her whenever she is disappointed and teaches her the basic living skills. Mae Mobile relies on her caretaker, Abilene, and follows her instruction. Therefore, Abilene action shows an idea that the Blacks are not inferior, they can express their personal feeling and hope for a better life in a Just society. In the novel, school emphasizes the races’ differences as school intends to build up a sense of superiority in the Whites’ student minds.
Children receive education in school. Other than teaching the knowledge which bases on the social norms. The Whites learn to be a racist as school teaches their students to value people based on skin-color. In page 461, “Miss Taylor says kids that are colored can’t go to my school cause they’re not smart enough” In page 481, She said black means I got a dirty, bad face. ” These quotes illustrate that Miss Taylor, Mae Mobiles teacher, discriminates against the Blacks by their skin-color.
She imbues her students the same perspective by telling them the Blacks are inferior. Therefore, children get the idea of racism at school. For every lesson they learn, the idea of the superiority of the Whites build up in their minds. Although the Whites grow up with contrasting values towards racism, most of them turn to be racists by the social pressure. In Jackson, children grow up with segregation. It is a social norm hat the Whites and the Blacks should be separated. They study in different schools, live in different regions and go to different churches.
They turn to be racists as they feel safe to follow the social norms. It reinforces what they have learned in their childhood. Miss Leaflet follows Miss Hills suggestion to build a “colored-toilet” outside the house. Initially, she doesn’t intend to do so as it costs a lot. Under the social pressure and the persuasion of Miss Hilly, she changes her mind. We can see under the pressure given by the social norms, the Whites grow up as a racist. All in al, every infant is pure as their brains are like blank papers which have no perspective of racism.
In the novel, children learn different perspectives of racism at home and school. The blank papers start to be filled in with different colors as they are implanted in different ideas of racism. Finally, the papers are accomplished by forming their unique pictures . They develop their own point of views towards racism. However, most of them turn to be racists with different degrees of racial discrimination by the social pressure which reinforces what they have learnt in the childhood.