The Help

Citation: “What makes you think colored people need your help? Why you even care about this? You white. ” (Page 191) Definitions: Colored: Belonging wholly or in part to a race other than the white, especially to the black race; influenced or biased; specious; deceptive. Help: To save; rescue; to make easier or less difficult; to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need. Care: Serious attention; a cause or object of concern; grief; a state of mind in which one is troubled. White: Pale, as from fear or other strong emotion; eight or comparatively light in color; morally pure; innocent.

Literal Connections: “But the guest bathroom’s where the help goes,” (Page 9) “But I can’t help but think that Vive Just doubled the trouble… ” (Page 54) “A bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help… ” (Page 10) “l ask Miss Left first thing tomorrow do she know anybody need help. ” (Page 20) “l figure she looking at where she gone build me my new colored bathroom. ” (Page 13) “l want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty anti a color/ when they start to think that lord folks anti as good as whites. (Page 112) “Well, you better tell me/ that colored doctor won’t operate on a white boy in a Negro hospital. ” (Page 176) “So many reasons, you white and me colored Just fall some-where in between. ” (Page 264) Literal Significance: Colored individuals in the novel are referred as a lower social status than the whites. They are generally less intelligent and valuable than the whites, because they are unsanitary, lazy, and careless. Helping and caring literally refers to Ninny refusing he aid from Abilene and Miss Skitter, especially from a white person.

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This is significant in which Miss Skitter recognizes the feeling about being disrespected by someone of a lower social status for the first time. Her face was burning red, yet Abilene indicates that she cares about Ninny by implicating that they are all working to help people understand Ninny’s perspective on race. White is a skin color that simply is regarded as one of the higher social statuses during the Jim Crow Era (sass). From Ninny’s perspective, they are the complete opposite of innocent.

They are manipulative, trying to get her in trouble by telling Ninny information she isn’t supposed to know. Conceptual/ Abstract Connections: “They’re likely to go to the local voodoo tent and get a satanic tattoo with our money. ” (Page 205) – Hilly proves she is racist because she has many wrong ideas about African tradition and life, automatically predicting what they were going to do with the money based off of their race. Like that. But the help always know. ” (Page 5) – Elizabeth clearly shows she is a bad, neglectful parent. However, her skin color enables her to be of a social status.

Thus, this allows her to abuse and ignore her own daughter however she pleases without getting any help for her predicament. “These is white rules. I don’t know which ones you following and which ones you anti. ” (Page 180) – This quote takes place during Setter’s and Beeline’s interviews, where Abilene reveals to the reader that she is scared to say the wrong thing. As a result from her past experiences, a conclusion can be made where any friendly white person can change in an instant when there is an infraction. I’m proud what I’m selling. I can’t help it.

We all telling stories that need to be told. ” (Page 244) – Here Abilene is revealing her perspective, hoping that it encouraged other black maids to do the same exact thing. Abilene believes that in doing so; it will help relieve the racial tension in the town. “What am I doing? / Crazy/ giving a white woman the sworn secrets of the colored race to a white lady… ” (Page 255) – Ninny reveals that she is scared of telling anybody her secrets, because she believes they will be used against her; a feeling of a white arson’s superiority. “Is this really happening?

Is a white woman/ beating up a white man to save me? ” (Page 363) – This is very significant in a sense that Ninny realizes that Celia Foote is not Just any stereotypical white lady. Celia is tough mentally and a very caring woman who has proven that she will do anything for Ninny. Celia has broken the line between whites and blacks that racism has formed. “This one’s for the white lady. Tell her we love her like, like she’s our own family. ” (Page 468) – Miss Skitter goes against Hilly when working on the book “Help,” which makes Skitter simply an outcast in the white community.

However, she is now accepted into the black community for what she has done. Key Ideas/ Motifs: The motif of “otherness” grows more clearly when scrutinizing various citations from the novel. Racism is a form of otherness that is grounded in the belief that one race is superior to another race. This belief leads to a clear “us vs… Them” mentality in which African Americans were considered to be low class, if they were even included in the society at all. The novel is set to be at a time when racism was simply noninsured as a normal thing in society.

Racism has formed lines that separate individuals from each other on the basis of skin color, and therefore has formed uprisings or mistrusts with one another in the novel. This form of otherness forms typical stereotypes in which African Americans can be lousy and dirty. People start to believe this and these remarks literally get passed down generation to generation, it can be to challenge these stereotypes, because the lines between a person’s races have grown too deeply already.

However, what makes this book so amazing and interesting is that despite all the racist remarks, three women work together to fight against it. Despite the odds, Miss Skitter was a white woman and a daughter of a cotton family, who Joins forces with Ninny and Abilene, two black maids to make the lives of the town’s black members less difficult. Ultimately, Ninny reacted the way she did towards Miss Skitter because of the social divide and the attempt to superiority. Thus, the motif of racism between colored people and whites builds toward the novel “Help. ”

Jesse
from Nandarnold

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