These chapters present a specific representation of friendship and communication between black amd white women, the particular reference to Aibileen and Miss Skeeter, and the bond they have made with past experiences, present views amd future challenges. These chapters can also show the extremities of fear of black people. This is presented well in the adaptation of the film in which the character of Aibileen shows fear and the consequences of almost rebellion to what white people want.
This chapter disscusses the daily jobs and routines Minny does as the new maid for Miss Celie and her husband Mister Johnny. Fear is a central aspect to this chapter as Minny is constantly on edge as to whether Mister Johnny will one day come home and she will face the consequences of his suspected anger. This aspect of fear can also coincide with the majority of the black community, they are in constant fear of racial prejudices and the actions whether verbally or physically they will have to face as part of their daily lives.
Minny is curious as to why there are no children in such a large house, why Miss Celie is always tired and why she rarely leaves the house. She does not dwell on this issue as she always remembers white womens problems are not her business – as told by her mother. This, for me shows the kind nature of Minny, and how she respects Miss Celie and her extreme privacy.
This interview presents us with and insight to Kathryn Stockett’s personal views and interpretations to issues raised in this novel.
Chapter three consists mainly of the introduction to Minny’s new job. Minny is given the job as Miss Celie’s maid but this situation is somewhat different to other white families she has worked for in the past. For example Miss Celie is new to the idea of having a maid especially a black women and so begins of by asking Minny for her opinions and ideas “I guess….. whenever you feel like coming” she shows a more compromising approach towards Minny unlike other families she had previously served for.
This chapter also examines the fact that Minny and other black maids know their place in their own homes and in the homes of the families they work for. Minny knew the rules of being a maid as taught by her mother, therefore showing she has and will continually know her place, what she can and cannot say and do. “Rule number five: you eat in the kitchen”.
Chapter two of ‘The Help’ relates to a topical, historical event at the time – the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 with Rosa Parks. This specific bus journey Aibileen took shows somewhat compassion between the maids, they feel content and can “sit anywhere” this, to me shows even though there was discrimination against black women, they still find happiness with the people that are around them.
Aibileens relationship with Mae Mobbley is also mentioned, she calls her “my baby” and “baby girl” in some contexts I feel it is showing a stronger relationship between Mae and Aibileen than with her own mother.
A quotation in chapter two that I feel is significant is “My yard, I reckon it be somewhere in between” (page 16). Although she is describing her home, the surroundings and her garden, I think there is also references to her being a link between black and white people – she commutes with black people but is the maid for white families.
Significantly in this chapter Minny looses her job – having been accused of stealing.
The first reference to the situation of separate bathrooms is also noted – a bathroom is to be built for Aibileen but it is “right out there in the garage” (page 29)
‘The Help’ written by Kathryn Stockett is a depiction of the lives of black women who raised white children, specifically in Jackson, Mississippi, 1962.
Chapter one consists of an introduction to Aibileen and the lifestyle she currently leads, beginning with Mae Mobley Leefolt the seventeenth white child she has raised, she disscusses every role she has with the Leefolt family and how they in turn impact on her own life. We are given an insight to her personal life, an insight to the death of her son, and the hardships she faces in everyday situations.
Miss Leefolt holds a dinner party, in which white women are invited and in this scene Aibleen is discriminate againsr openly but she accepts their brutality in words and actions, (they disscuss the sharing of bathrooms)
Mae Mobbley could be a symbol of representing black women – they are barely acknowledged by society as humans just as Mae is hardly noticed by her mother.
Miss Skeeter is a glimmer of hope for the black community, she makes subtle conversation with Aibleen and hears her opinions.