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While watching ‘The Help’, collect
as much information as you
that you will need for your Final Task. SETTING TIME / HISTORICAL PERIOD
The Help begins in August 1962 and ends in late 1964 during the sixties (1960s) In the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement Changing times= Civil Rights period
Set in racially segregated Jackson, Misssissippi In the Deep South On a family cotton plantation (Longleaf) Segregated society
MAIN CHARACTERS INFORMATION
Miss Eugenia Phelan best know as “Skeeter” = the protagonist = a 22-yearold graduate from Ole Miss. Skeeter = a nickname When she was born, her brother said she looked like a skeeter (mosquito).
- privileged daughter of a cotton plantation owner
Independent/ brave/ determined/ unbiased A southern society girl who returns from college / she dreams of being a writer Belongs to the Junior League = an elite group Edits the newsletter for the League Hilly and Skeeter grew up best friends, but they now have very different views on race and the future of integration in Mississippi.
- self-aware of her role within the segregated society, which motivates her writing project.
A neophyte journalist manages to get a job at the Jackson Journal writing a house-keeping advice column called “Miss Myrna” Turns her friends lives upside down had the idea to write a narrative from the point of view of 12 black maids in 1960s Jackson. interviews housemaids about what it’s like to work for white people in Jackson. the story of black maids who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families
- a new college grad who wants to publish the story of several black maids in 1960s Mississippi.
Work with Aibeleen and Minny to write her first book. unlikely friendship is forged + sisterhood meet clandestinely in the evenings at Aibileen's house to write the book together Skeeter's book is set in the fictional town of Niceville and published anonymously. Chooses her own path / decides to break from her community becomes isolated from the community of southern women in which she was raised. Skeeter falls for the senator's son = Dates Stuart for s short period of time decides to leave her community and move to New York City to follow her dream of writing.
to start a new job at Ben and Harper Aibileen Clark = a house maid / black maid = one of the main characters maid working in white Southern homes = Works for Elizabeth works tirelessly raising her employer's child Mae= her 7th child Is devoted to Mae the little girl she has been looking after for many years. Mourns the loss of her 17-year-old son died in an accident at work while his white bosses turned away. Lives alone Minny’s best friend A wise woman / hardworking maid/ reliable/committed Allows Skeeter a glimpse into her world Minny Jackson= house maid/ black maid since the age of 14 Popular maid Known for her cooking /can cook like nobody’s business! Known for her outspokenness. can’t mind her tongue keeps losing jobs Has distrust of white people A reliable maid / abused wife = used to live with an abusive husband = Leroy Has 5 childen Used to work for Hilly ‘s mother Hilly ruined her reputation + fired her. Works as a help for Celia Aibeleen’s best friend Shares her stories and experiences with Skeeter a secret about Hilly that Minny reveals in Skeeter's book that silences Hilly Minny's pie for Miss Hilly. Minny ‘s revenge on Hilly
Hilly Holbrook = supposedly Skeeter’s best friend = childhood friend A young married woman Enjoys playing bridge A wealthy Jackson socialite = a proper southern lady At the head of the Junior League = leads the Junior League and bosses around the other white women in the town
Strongly supports segregation = racially prejudiced / prejudiced against black people Vey bossy /authoritative / Manipulative/ domineering / biased / nasty / resentful = controls people Very cruel to her own helps + Skeeter reveals to Stuart, Skeeter's boyfriend, that she found a copy of the Jim Crow laws in Skeeter's purse Skeeter will be ostracized from her community
Celia ….. = a newcomer to Jackson = a country girl her hometown = Sugar Ditch Married to Hilly Holbrook’s ex-boyfriend = Young married woman Pregnant but Lost 3 babies = miscarriage/miscarry Isolated from Jackson society / Kept apart from the Junior league = social status = discriminated against / suffers from being rejected Generous/ good-hearted/naïve/natural/down-to-earth/ unbiased Tries but fails to behave as a proper Southern lady Mae Mobley / 4 = Elizabeth’s daughter = Aibeleen’s sweetheart Kind/smart/beautiful/deeply affectionate to Aibeleen Charlotte Phelan = Skeeter’s mother Cotton plantation owner = wealthy woman / socialite Married + son Has never worked/ housewife Wants her daughter to be a wife Not happy till her daughter has a ring on her finger Fired their beloved maid Constantine Had been appointed President of the …..
Constantine = Skeeter ‘s beloved maid and nanny = the woman who raised her Has disappeared / was fired by Skeeter’s mother Constantine had given birth, out of wedlock (= hors marriage), to Lulabelle who turned out to look white even though both parents were black. Neither the black nor the white community would accept Lulabelle, so Constantine gave her up for adoption when she was four years old.
When the little girl grew up, she and Constantine were reunited. Moved with her daughter to Chicago after being fired; Passed away shortly after. Hilly ‘s mom Minny used to work for her Will be sent to a nursing home Miss Elizabeth Young married woman= Mae’s mother / pregnant of her second child Hilly and Elizabeth have become close friends will eventually fire Aibileen Stuart Whitworth = the senator’s son + Hilly’s cousin
- His romance with Skeeter ends when Stuart learns of her civil rights leanings. = breaks up with her after Hilly tells him about Skeeter’s political views.
A famous New York editor a publisher in New York interested in Skeeter's idea of writing the true stories of domestic servants.
HOW THE CHARACTERS RELATE TO ONE OTHER
: Complete with names and
indicate the nature of their relationship.
REAL LIFE EVENTS
On June 12, 1963, Evers pulled into his driveway after returning from an integration meeting where he had conferred with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that stated, "Jim Crow Must Go", Evers was struck in the back with a bullet that ricocheted into his home.
Medgar Evans, Field Secretary for the NAACP, was attacked and killed
outside his home by a suspected member of the Ku Klux Klan .
Evers was murdered
just hours after President John F. Kennedy's speech on national television in support of civil rights.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is an AfricanAmerican civil rights organization in the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC) on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Martin Luther King’s speeches on TV Police brutality black people being ill-treated/manhandled
REFERENCES TO THE JIM CROW LAWS &THE BLACK CODE
The movie enables the viewer to experience life in the deep south at the time when segregation was in practice.
a copy of Jim Crow laws was found in the library. the movie deals with the complicated theme of blacks and whites living in a segregated South. segregated places (segration in public places such as restaurants, theaters etc…) + “separate but equal” facilities + signs that were put up in town. Hilly’s sanitary plan having separate toilets being built outside the house for the help. A century after the Emancipation Proclamation, black maids raised white children and ran households but were paid poorly, often had to use separate toilets from the family, and watched the children they cared for commit racist bigotry. = (intolérance raciste ) Clandestine meetings with Skeeter = the fear of being seen with white people Murders being committed by white people against Civil Rights activists References to Lynching / punishment The growing Civil Right Movement and simmering race relations provide the backdrop that makes Skeeter's book project so dangerous. Numerous references to Civil rights activists who advocated desegregation/ fought against racial hatred. References to the unwritten social expectations (the black code) when speaking black maids were expected to address whites as Mr, Sir or Ma’am. / If blacks violated Jim Crow rules, they could expect brutal punishment, such as whippings or even death. Many blacks were killed (often lynched) for attempting to exercise their right to vote, for being members of political organizations and for speaking out for equality. The fear of black people of the opposite race