"The Help": A Book Review Book Review by Carly Evans

A summary and review of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, looking at the novel's themes about maintaining unity and spirit.
# 150579 | 2,000 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published by on Mar 16, 2012 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (General)

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This paper reviews, summarizes and critiques "The Help", a 2008 novel by Kathryn Stockett. The paper opens by describing the three main protagonists, Skeeter Phelan, Aibileen Clark, and Minny Jackson and by detailing the plot of the novel, wherein Skeeter, a young, white, aspiring female journalist in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, approaches two black maids (Clark and Jackson) with the idea of interviewing them for a shocking expose of their treatment at the hands of their white employers. Next, the paper introduces Miss Hilly, the principal antagonist of the novel, and then discusses the novel's humor and poignancy. The novel's themes of unity and not letting others crush your spirit are discussed, and then the paper touches on some of the racial controversy surrounding the book. Finally, the paper concludes with an enthusiastic recommendation of "The Help".

From the Paper:

"Kathryn Stockett's The Help is a 2008 novel set in Kennedy-era Jackson, Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement. It tells the story of three women whose lives are upended when they decide to collaborate on a book that details the secret suffering and the private joys experienced by black maids serving white families in the 1960's American South.

"The driving force behind the novel is 23-year-old Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a recent graduate of Ole Miss, a daughter of privilege, and an aspiring journalist. The New York Times describes her like this: "She labors long into the night. She is exhausted. Her eyes are stinging, her fingers bloody and sore. Is she ironing pleats? Scrubbing toilets? Polishing silver for an all-important meeting of the local bridge club? No way. She is ... a white woman. And the white women of The Help don't do those demeaning jobs ... But brave, tenacious Skeeter is different. So she is slaving away on a book that will blow the lid off the suffering endured by black maids in Jackson, Miss." (1)

"Skeeter sums up the project like this: "Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it." (2)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Maslin, Janet. "Racial Insults and Quiet Bravery in 1960s Mississippi.'' NewYorkTime.com. 2008. New York Times. Retr. 13 Mar. 2012 <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/books/19masl.html>
  • Stockett, Kathryn. The Help.
  • "Racial Insults and Quiet Bravery in 1960s Mississippi.'' Rtr. 13 Mar. 2012
  • Crystal, Viviane. "There's No Difference At All Between You and Me.'' The Best Reviews. 2009. Retr. 13 Mar. 2012 <http://thebestreviews.com/review39012>
  • Clements, Toby. "The Help by Kathryn Stockett: review.'' 2009. Telegraph UK. Retr. 13 Mar. 2012 <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/5893499/The-Help-by-Kathryn-Stockett-review.html>

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"The Help": A Book Review (2012, March 16) Retrieved December 02, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-help-a-book-review-150579/

MLA Format

""The Help": A Book Review" 16 March 2012. Web. 02 December. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-help-a-book-review-150579/>