The Help Analysis Paper Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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The Help Is an American novel that represents an era of civil rights, written by the point of view of a white educated southern woman, in a very different time period of what the book is set in. The Help takes place during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. This novel tells a story about the relationships between African-American maids and their white employers. During the 1960s, not only in Mississippi but the greater part of the south, African-American women were the nannies and maids to white families for generations and dealt with racism in order to earn an income for their own families. The Help not only touches on a racist time era but a sexist one as well. In The 60s women were to be mothers and housewives but some wanted to be more than that, this novel tells another story about a young educated southern woman trying to achieve a career in a male dominant profession.

The author is Kathryn Stockett, a white southern woman from Jackson, Mississippi. She grew up in Jackson with her own African-American nanny who died when she was sixteen. She narrates The Help as two African-American maids and one young white woman; all live and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. Stocketts point of view in this novel is that she was one of those many children in the South that had a second mother who was black and wanted to tell those nannys stories on behalf of her own deceased nanny. She makes the two African-American narrators the protagonist, Aibileen and Minny, and the young white women, Skeeter, is also a protagonist who wants to tell the truth about Jackson, Mississippi and does so by convincing Aibileen and Minny and others to tell their stories about being nannies to white families.

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The Help was published in 2009, the year Barack Obama took office. 2009 was important year for America; it was the year that the first African-American president took office. During the campaign a lot of racial tension started rising, even though America had changed drastically since the 60s there were still some old ignorant views. This book was written during a time when America had progressed for the better but its individuals hadnt. The campaigning of president Obama could have reminded Stockett of how much America has changed in such a short time but how some people hadnt.

Kathryn Stockett wrote this book because she felt that she needed to tell the story of the African-American maids and their white employers relationship. It was written to tell the truth of Jackson, Mississippi in the 60s, to make America aware of what was going on down in the south during that era. Kathryn admits in an interview that she herself was at one point in her life prejudice but she also states how much she loved her own nanny Demetrie, who raised her till she was 16. Stockett wrote this book so that people could speak about race in general, people avoid the topic because its a sensitive subject that many individuals find uncomfortable or better left unsaid.

The Help takes an individual back in time to an era of racism and puts the reader in the shoes of two southern black maids and a young educated white women. This novel brings the reader to realize how much the world has changed and how much society has as well. In less than 60 years America has gone from strict segregation to having a black president in office. The Help also takes the reader back to a time of sexism, when women were to be doting housewives and child bearers. This novel shows how young Skeeter was too educated for her mothers liking and was constantly being haggled to settle down at the age of 23 and find a husband, except she wanted to become a writer, a mans profession in the 60s. Today in America a woman can do anything she wants, no matter her race, as long as she has the right education and determination.

Mississippi Goddam By Nina Simone, 1964The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it

Alabamas gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Alabamas gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Cant you see it
Cant you feel it
Its all in the air
I cant stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer

Alabamas gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

This is a show tune
But the show hasnt been written for it, yet

Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every days gonna be my last

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I dont belong here
I dont belong there
Ive even stopped believing in prayer

Dont tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
Ive been there so I know
They keep on saying Go slow!

But thats just the trouble
do it slow
Washing the windows
do it slow
Picking the cotton
do it slow
Youre just plain rotten
do it slow
Youre too damn lazy
do it slow
The thinkings crazy
do it slow
Where am I going
What am I doing
I dont know
I dont know

Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

I made you thought I was kiddin

Picket lines
School boy cots
They try to say its a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me

Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And youd stop calling me Sister Sadie

Oh but this whole country is full of lies
Youre all gonna die and die like flies
I dont trust you any more
You keep on saying Go slow!
Go slow!

But thats just the trouble
do it slow
Desegregation
do it slow
Mass participation
do it slow
Reunification
do it slow
Do things gradually
do it slow
But bring more tragedy
do it slow
Why dont you see it
Why dont you feel it
I dont know
I dont know

You dont have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Art, music, and literature express a time periods essence by using lyrics, images or words to depict whats going on in that era and to preserve it for the future. They teach people of that certain time and in the future by telling a story lyrically or the artwork represent something that happened back then. The song Mississippi Goddam uses lyrics such as Just give me my equality to tell the audience of the African-American struggle to gain equality in the segregated south.

Individuals can look back at artwork and music to learn what was going on during that era by the stories the artwork, literature and music tells. Artwork, literature, and music represent the way the composer of the work felt about the time period and how the individual wanted to express their true feelings to an audience who felt the same way. Or the individuals wanted to educate and bring a community to the attention of the issues going on at that time.

Sources:
. Black history month-mississippi goddamn-the power of jazz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug 2012. .

Couric, Katie. Katie Couric Interviews The Help author Kathryn Stockett. Glamour Magazine. Conde Nast Publications, 2012. Web. 20 Aug 2012. .

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