The Help

The Help

Julianna Cameron, Staff Writer

The Help by Karthryn Stockett is a story about a loveless, frumpy white woman in the 1950’s southern United States who teams up with a brave African American maid to write a book about the maids’ lifestyles. The book is an amazing portrayal of the struggles of the African-Americans before Civil Rights.

Throughout the story, the reader could feel the hardships Skeeter, the main character, went through to get her book published. She worked for months to slowly earn Aibileen’s trust. Aibileen was the first maid to tell Skeeter her story. Then Aibileen persuaded her best friend, Minny, to record her story. But after her, there weren’t many people that were willing to share their story.

Then, Skeeter’s friend’s new maid, Yule May, was arrested and jailed for stealing a priceless ring from her employer, so she could put her twin boys through college. After the other maids found out she was in jail, they all teamed up and raised money to pay for the boys’ education and vowed they would participate in the book as long as their names were changed.

Mississippi was an extremely rough place to live if one was African-American. They lived mostly in completely rundown neighborhoods and had to use “special” bathrooms, usually located outside the main house of their employer.

Though this book had some comedic moments, like the “horrible, awful thing” loud mouth maid Minnie did to her previous employer, Hilly, the book gives a bird’s eye view on the troubles of African-American maids.

This book was the center of some controversy about whether the characters were real or the story line was an accurate portrayal of Mississippi in the 50’s, but it will still keep you on the edge of your seats.

The Help is a book definitely worth reading, because even though we didn’t grow up in that generation, you can feel what those maids were feeling back then. The book will captivate you, the characters will get a hold of your heart, and the ending will bring you to tears.