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In the novel, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, there are many themes communicated throughout the story. The theme that attracted the most attention is racism and segregation. For centuries, equality has been an ongoing obstacle, whether it be race, gender, religion, segregation, special needs etc. Overall, the main theme depicted in The Help is race and segregation. In the 1960s, Jackson Mississippi happened to be an area where racism was openly mentioned in day to day life. In this case, the housewife’s casual conversations included discussing how the colored maids were impure and carried infectious disease, which later caused bathroom segregation. Such as this quote that Miss Hilly states which relates to the home help sanitation “A bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help.
I’ve even notified the surgeon general of Mississippi to see if he’ll endorse the idea. I’ll pass. ” (10) Furthermore, the gossip and emotional abuse they put their help through led them to believe that black people are essentially different from, and inferior to, white people. It’s known that racism is not built-in to human nature, but rather passed down through generations from an educational standpoint. A quote that supports this unacceptable reasoning is “I want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty ain’t a color, disease ain’t the negro side of town. I want to stop that moment from coming – and it come in every white child’s life – when they start to think that colored folks are not as good as whites. ” (112) Additionally, the novel also provides a structure for how individuals can battle against racism. Stockett achieved this by establishing statements of truthful and empathetic communication across racial segregation. Aibileen believes in this next quote that revealing her story as maid will help deplete some of the racial pressure in the town. “I’m proud a what I’m selling. I can’t help it. We all telling stories that need to be told. ” (244) Lastly, Miss Skeeter had the opportunity to tell the alluring stories of the local maids in Jackson. Through this experience she learned many valuable life lessons about equality. She realized that the maids are just as valuable as everyone else, with the same capacity of emotion, intelligence, anatomy, etc.
Skeeter concludes that the laws that separate people based on race are corrupt and something must be done immediately to end the selfish utilization. After the book was published, the maids and others met at the church, they were beyond thankful for her, and her effort of speaking up and opening the eyes of others in hope for change. Near the end of the novel Skeeter was congratulated in this quote “Then the Reverend hands me a box, wrapped in white paper, tied with light blue ribbon, same colors as the book. He lays his hand on it as blessing. ‘This one’s for the white lady. Tell her we love her like, like she’s our own family. ’” (467-468) In Conclusion, the novel clearly indicates that white citizens look down upon people of color. The maids were required to perform harsh and humiliating tasks which resulted in them feeling worthless. The Help makes people aware of the unacceptable racist behavior and how desperate people were back then for justice.
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