The Help[1]

Helen Nguon
Cyber 5
Outside Reading Project
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Chapter 1
“He get in junior high and we play this game where I give him a real simple word and he got to
come up with a fancy one like it. I say housecat, he say domesticized feline,…One day I say
Crisco…He just can’t believe I done won the game with something simple as Crisco…meaning
something you can’t dress up no matter how you try.”
This quote has certain simplicity about the word Crisco that I find very relatable. In this
quote, Aibileen remembers her son, Treelore, going to school and he becomes extremely literate
and educated. Life is very complex for a student. He plays a game with his mom where he has to
come up with complicated words for simple words, but in the end, his mom wins with a simple
one: Crisco. It reminds me that no matter how complicated our world is getting today, there will
always be some type of simplicistic nature in our lives that will keep us grounded. For example,
the world’s technology is constantly changing and improving which causes many people to stay
inside, attached to computer and television screens. In the summer time, though, I like to go
outside on my porch and do my homework. It feels good to get away from all the complicated
technology inside and to join the simplicity of nature outside. Some things can’t really be
“fancied up;” some things are just meant to stay forever simple. This quote reminds me of that.
Chapter 2
“You’d never know it living here, but Jackson, Mississippi, be filled with two hundred thousand
peoples. I see them numbers in the paper and I got to wonder, where do them peoples live?
Underground? Cause I know just about everybody on my side a the bridge and plenty a white
families too, and that sure don’t add up to be no two hundred thousand.”
This quote reminds me of the community here at Danbury High School. There are
approximately three thousand students here that attend the school, but to me there are only
several hundred. I think for every person that attends this school, there is a certain community
that they belong to. For me, my group of friends is mostly limited to the people that are in my
classes. It a routine thing for me to see the same group of faces everyday, and over the year, my
classes have become very tight-knit that it is hard for me to believe that they are many more kids
in this school that I have yet to know. The school is so big to know every one, and to see every
Chapter 3
“’You ain’t taking my car every day, woman, what if I get the day shift and need to – ‘
‘She paying me seventy dollars cash every Friday, Leroy.’
‘Maybe I take Sugar’s bike.’”
This quote affects me because it really shows the importance of money. In the context,
Minny had just gotten a new job as a maid outside of the city, and she needs to take the car in
order to get there every day. The job she took pays a lot of money, so for Minny, it is important
for her to make the effort to get there on time every day. It is interesting how, in this quote,
Leroy immediately decides to take Sugar’s bike after hearing the pay of Minny’s job. This
reminds me of the situation with money at my house. My parents make every effort to say up
money because it definitely is an important item; with money, we can certainly pay for many
necessities, save up for emergencies, and pay for college. My parents would never buy anything
without a coupon, it seems. A coupon always lowers the cost of an item, and it’s interesting how
lowering the cost of something can persuade my parents to buy something that they wouldn’t
have needed if it had cost more money. It shows the power and importance of money in society
Chapter 5
“’Why don’t you go down to the bank and apply for a teller job?’
‘I don’t want to be a bank teller, Mama.’
…I’ll never be able to tell Mother I want to be a writer.”
This excerpt describes the pressures of living up to what society wants. In Skeeter’s
house, her mom wants her to apply for a teller job at the bank so that she could find a husband at
work. Skeeter’s passion is in writing, and she is not interested in getting married. What she wants
defies the norms of society in her time period. By her age, Skeeter should already be married
with kids, like her other friends. This makes me think of the pressures of living up to my own
parents standards in my house. I am always pressured to do my best so that I can have a
successful future ahead of me. For the longest time, my parents had always wanted me to
become a doctor because doctors make a lot of money. Never had they noticed the way I used to
cringe at the sight of blood or watch my face turn green when I watch stories on the news. I’ve
never been, in any way, a medical person. With the pressure of becoming a successful doctor
burdened onto my back my whole life, I’ve only recently realized that I want to pursue a career
in environmental science. However, the occupation isn’t one that is totally reliable or as
acceptable as a doctor to my parents. This quote makes me think about what society wants and
what I want, and how sometimes the two don’t always match up together.
Chapter 6
“…I have no idea who this Miss Myrna is. I ask the only safe question I can think of. ‘How
much…did you say it pays?’
He gives me a surprisingly appreciative look, from my flat shoes to m flat hairstyle. Some
dormant instinct tells me to smile, run my hand through my hair. I feel ridiculous, but I do it.
‘Eight dollars, every Monday…Alright, ten.’”
This quote makes me think about the effects that personal appearance can have. Skeeter
is here trying to get her first job as a column writer for the paper, and to that, she is trying to
appeal to the man in charge by running her hand through her hand and getting her to like him.
It’s like that weird thing in the business world where you can only get so far if you know people
and if people like you. It’s hard to get somewhere without having connections, especially for
Skeeter since she would only be the second woman to work in the paper. Getting the job was
hard for her, but this idea contrasts with the competitiveness of the work place today. A company
with mostly male workers would certainly hire a female worker if one were to apply. Today we
look for diversity, back then the work place was extremely segregated. However, in both times,
finding a job has a great connection with the people you know and how you can get people to
like you.
Chapter 7
“I say, ‘You a kind girl,’ and she nod, repeat it back to me. But before I can do another one, she
get up and chase that poor dog around the yard and laugh and that’s when I get to wondering,
what would happen if I told her she something good, ever day?”
The little girl referred to in this quote is Mae Mobley, whose mother has yet to show her
love and appreciation for her baby girl. The only thing the mother has done is scold her, while
Aibileen – the one speaking in the quote – tries to raise the baby girl right so that she has a self
esteem when she grows up. This makes me think of the way that many kids are raised. In my
child development class, we learned that we need to recognize when kids are misbehaving, and
also to praise them for all the little things that they do right. I learned that it is better to give
attention to kids when they are behaving rather than to give them the attention while throwing a
temper tantrum. Kids have to learn that they will receive attention by being good, and this is one
thing that many parents have to stress. However, Mae Mobley’s parent is doing the opposite by
giving her daughter attention when she misbehaves, allowing her child to misbehave more in
order to gain the mother’s attention. It would be nice if a lot of parents did what Aibileen is
doing with Mae, by letting her know that she is a good child and raise her to act like one.
Chapter 8
“’…here. I’ve been meaning to give you this.’
‘…I’m begging you,’ Aibileen says, ‘put that money away so Miss Leefolt don’t see it.’
I nod, embarrassed. I tuck the envelope in my bag, knowing we’re worse off than ever. It’s a
bribe, she thinks, to get her to let me interview her. A bribe disguised as goodwill and thanks.”
In this quote, Aibileen is declining a bribe from Skeeter to do an interview for her book.
This demonstrates how, despite the importance of money, money doesn’t solve all of life’s
problems. It can’t always get people what they want. By declining the money, Aibileen is
showing either a sense of dignity or a sense of fear. Money cannot take away the power of what
the white man can do if she were to agree in any way to accept Skeeter’s invitation. Money
doesn’t solve everything, which makes me think about how in today’s society, people think that
money can do anything. For example, when applying to college, sometimes it seems that if you
don’t have money, college will be a long and hard financial struggle with many years of debt to
follow. While this could be the case for several, it is not the case for everyone; with hard work
comes scholarships and help for those that need it. Being rich does not give you an advantage or
provide an escape from financial struggles in college. There will always be a problem dealing
with money or trying to gain money, either way. Having money will not solve any problems or
create a clear cut path to college either.
Chapter 9
“In the Kennington’s parking lot I start the car, but cannot drive for the sudden pains in my
stomach. I grip the white padded steering wheel, telling myself for the tenth time that it’s
ridiculous to wish for something I’ll never have. to think I know the color blue his eyes are from
a black and white photograph… But the dress, with my new hair, it actually looks pretty good on
me. And I can’t help but hope.”
This quote reminds me of the idea that people always wish for what they can’t have.
Skeeter is here going on a date that her friend, Hilly, had set her up with. In the quote, she is
probably thinking about she has never dated before and she’s trying to convince herself that
maybe this time, it might actually work out. Little superficial things, like her appearance, make
her feel better about herself and give her hope. Although superficial, it helps her believe that
maybe she could have what she once thought she couldn’t. I feel that today’s world mostly
revolves around superficiality. People constantly buy new clothes and accessories to gain the
acceptance of others. I know many people who would go out of their way to buy something just
to gain acceptance. Sometimes I would too, though. Gaining acceptance or attention in some
form or another can bring up a self esteem, which is what we need at times. This idea of
superficiality is completely relatable to many people.
Chapter 10
“’We don’t want a bring all that mess up.’ Aibileen wipes her nose with a hankie. ‘Tell people
the truth.’
‘No, we don’t,’ I say, but I stop. It’s something about that word truth. I’ve been trying to tell
white women the truth about working for them since I was fourteen years old.
…Everything goes still. I can’t believe Aibileen wants to tell Miss Skeeter the truth.
It feels cool, like water washing over my sticky-hot body. Cooling a heat that’s been burning me
up all my life.”
The feeling that Minny is feeling here is comparable to the feeling of guilt, when
something eats you up inside, until you can’t take it anymore and try to fix the problem. Minny is
trying to change her life in Jackson, Mississippi. By being interviewed by Skeeter, she’ll finally
be able to let out all the feelings of hatred she’s held inside all those years working for white
women. She’ll be able to let everyone know the truth of how she’s been treated. The change she
yearns for can be brought on by finally telling everyone the truth. Throughout her life, Minny has
never been able to tell white women how she feels about their treatment of her, or if she did, she
was fired, on the spot. Throughout my life, the idea of obedience had always been enforced. Any
type of talking back to my parents or not following their rules was considered rude. In the past
few years, I’ve begun to start talking to my parents if I needed to say anything to them; if I
thought something they said was unfair, I would say so. I would rebel more, but I started to
speak the truth to them more. Since then, I can say that the relationship between my parents has I
has drastically change. Speaking out and telling the truth can truly create change.
Chapter 11
“Two sets of colored people sit on porches, watching, rocking. There are no streetlights so it’s
hard to say who else sees me. I keep walking, feeling as obvious as my vehicle: large and white.”
Skeeter feels out of place as she visits Aibileen in the colored neighborhood. She feels
awkward because of her race, her skin color because she is white and not colored. I find this
feeling interesting because normally, this feeling would be more apparent for someone who is
colored in a group of white people, not the other way around. Also, I find this feeling of
awkwardness relatable to me when I was in elementary school. The majority of the kids in my
elementary school were either white or Latino. I think my brother and I were the only Asians out
of the whole school. I used to always feel so awkward when I went to school because I knew no
one else who I could relate to in appearance. People used to hear me speak to my parents in
Chinese and always ask me to translate everything they say into Chinese. I used to feel so out of
place that I wished I weren’t Asian. I wanted to be white or Latino like the others in my school.
People always watched me and listened to what I said, and I never knew who was watching – I
just knew that people watched and I wished they didn’t. The problem was that I was different
from everyone and it was obvious. I always felt awkward and out of place because of my race.
Chapter 12
“I hold the envelope to my heart and almost weep from exhaustion, doubt… I come home and lie
down on my old iron bed, worrying over what will happen… if she likes it. What if Elizabeth or
Hilly catches us at what we’re doing? What if Aibileen gets fired sent to jail…What am I doing?
Why am I putting her at such risk?
I go to sleep. I have nightmares for the next fifteen hours straight.”
Skeeter had just finished writing down Aibileen’s stories for her book. In this excerpt, she
is having feelings of doubt that the book might not work and that she might get Aibileen in
trouble for being a part of her plan. Skeeter knew that she was taking a risk when she thought of
writing this book, and she was okay with that. Now, however, she creating the book has become
a much bigger challenge than she imagined since it involves Aibileen as well. Taking a risk
alone is easy; taking a risk with another person is much harder. The thought of burdening
someone else creates stress. I can relate to how Skeeter is feeling in this situation. I am never one
to bother people with my problems. When I do anything that I know will be strenuous, I do it
alone; I never like to put people responsible for my own problems. Once people get involved,
problems get more complicated. Sometimes people get curious, or maybe sometimes people
could get in trouble for letting them know too much. Sometimes people just become stressed out
because of my own problems that I made them worried about in the first place. It’s easier to not
have to worry other people and burden them with problems. However, this isn’t always the case,
but the feeling of not wanting to share problems to avoid bother others, like Skeeter is feeling, is
common for many types of situations.
Chapter 13
“I brush my hair because I know it’s awful. I even wash the typewriter ink and correcting fluid
off my hands and elbows…
Mother gives me a quick up and down in my dungarees and Daddy’s old button-up white shirt.
‘Is he a Greenwood Whitworth or a Natchez?’
‘He’s the state senator’s son.’
Mother’s jaw drops so far it hits her string of pearls.”
This excerpt reveals how social status and appearance can mean everything. From the
way Skeeter gets dressed up to Mother’s string of pearls, we can see the superficial view of
appearance and how dressing up is seen as essential when meeting the State Senator’s son at the
front step. It’s funny how Skeeter doesn’t make an attempt to dress up at all when visiting
Aibileen or even her friends. Social status is important. It reminds me that in today’s society,
many people normally do not dress up when going out, on a daily basis; however, when visiting
someone important, dressing up becomes essential. Appearance is the first thing people see and it
makes an impression. Dressing up is a way of making an impression on someone in today’s
world. When going out for an interview, looking good is a person’s number one priority when
walking into the interview room. People are judgmental, and if appearance is lacking, people will
make judgments in the negative direction. I learned in my personal finance class that an
interviewer can usually tell if a person will get the job through the first twelve seconds of the
interview when the person is walking into the room through their appearance and body gestures.
Also, a person with alumni or relationships with people at a certain college have a higher chance
of getting in the school than someone who doesn’t. This tells us that social status and appearance
can have an impact on nearly everything.
Chapter 14
“One thing I got to say about Miss Hilly, she love her children. About every five minutes, she
kiss little Will on the head. Or she ask Heather, is she having fun? Or come here and give Mama
a hug. Always telling her she the most beautiful girl in the world. And Heather love her mama
too. She look at Miss Hilly like she looking up at the Statue a Liberty. That kind a love always
make me wanna cry. Even when it going to Miss Hilly… I appreciate seeing a child adoring they
I am always touched when I hear stories about motherly love. I have a cousin who had
just had a baby girl. She never got to finish college or even marry yet, but then all of a sudden a
baby came along. Now the baby is nearly three years old, and my cousin is in school again.
However, instead of studying fashion like before, she is studying nursing at Naugatuck to be
financially secure in the future for her daughter. The other day I heard her husband on the phone
with her and I heard him say, “Take the money out of the wedding money. Your education is
important. It’ll help Alivia out in the future…” Her motherly love is so strong that she is
sacrificing her own time and her own wedding money to help out her daughter. I think that no
matter what a person loves or what they’re like, any mother is capable of loving her child and
sacrificing anything in the world for them. In the excerpt, Hilly is capable of loving her children
despite her mean personality. She is still a mother and capable of loving. I see so much of this in
today’s society when so many teenagers become pregnant. Despite their youth, most people are
able to sacrifice their time and so many other things to become a better mother.
Chapter 15
“’…I was hoping you’d take me to the Robert E. Lee for lunch,’ Miss Fredericks say. I don’t
know how this woman can stand her own self. I heard Mister and Miss Leefolt arguing about
how ever time she come to town, she make Miss Leefolt take her to the fanciest place in town
and then sit back and make Miss Leefolt pay the bill.”
This quote describes the type of mother who only appreciates rich successful daughters,
the type who only care about how much money their child makes rather than the type of person
that they become. This reminds me of my aunt. When I was little, my aunt always used to tell me
to be the best in my class so that one day I would be rich and be able to buy her dinner every
night, to take her out on trips and vacations often. She used to tell me not to make many friends,
not because she wanted me to have true, close friends, but because she said that too many friends
would cause too many problems and I wouldn’t be able to do as well in school. This quote really
reminds me and emphasizes the idea that social status and money can determine your worth in
other people’s eyes. The amount of money you make can turn out to be more important than the
way your personality turns out. In today’s world, I feel that money determines success, and that a
successful person is always rich. People care more about money than people, and it’s sad to see
that people view life in such a superficial way.
Chapter 16
“…I'm proud a what I'm selling. I can't help it. We all telling stories that need to be told.”
In this quote, Aibileen is saying that although she is taking a huge risk in telling her
stories to Skeeter, she is glad she is doing so because the town needs to hear the truth. Aibileen is
proud to say that she is making a change in her community. She embraces the truth for the
change that it could have on the town. When I was younger, my mother used to always hold a
policy of truth in the house. Like myself, my mom never liked to deal with conflict of any kind.
If my brother and I were fighting, we would have to tell her what happened, instead of lie about
it. If we did, my mom would always find out the truth one way or another and then both of us
would get in a lot more trouble. Over time, I’ve learned to tell my mom the truth more and I’ve
happened to get in trouble a lot less too. I’ve also become a better communicator with my mother
because I’ve learned to tell her things thoughtfully and truthfully. Our relationship has changed
over the years because of the way I learned to communicate the truth. Sometimes it’s risky to tell
the truth, but in the end it is worthwhile because it normally creates changes in the positive
direction. For me, I became able to tell my stories to my mother and communicate to her
truthfully; for Aibileen, she will be able to tell the town the true stories of being a maid and get
people to understand that a change needs to be made.
Chapter 17
"What am I doing? I must be crazy, giving the sworn secrets of the colored race to a white
lady… Feel like I'm talking behind my own back."
At this point in the book, Minny is starting to show signs of doubt of Skeeter’s plan and
feelings of betraying her own race. Although she wants change, change feels wrong. I can relate
to this feeling back when I was doing my Into the Wild project a few weeks ago. I dressed up to
school for the first time. My reason for doing this was because I was not the type of person to
dress up. I’m still not, but I learned that dressing up is not as bad as I make it seem and that I
wanted to do it more often. Since that day, though, I haven’t dressed up since. I remember all the
attention I had gotten and how different the day seemed compared to normal. It was all new to
me. However, all the attention was positive and I didn’t receive any negative comments from
anyone. I’ve been meaning to change my look, but every time I think about dressing up, I doubt
myself; I think that my sense of fashion isn’t really that good, or that I’m not going to up this
outfit by the end of the day. Sometimes I just get lazy. Sometimes I think that I’m not letting
myself feel comfortable enough, that if I dress up, I’m always going to have to worry about my
clothes throughout the day rather than school. I am not one to put too much effort into my
appearance, but I do want to put in a stronger effort to look better, but I find it extremely hard to
change something that I’ve grown too. It feels wrong because I feel like I’m beginning to make
myself care about these superficial things, when I really don’t. I just want to change my look,
and make the good impression I did that one day to people every day. I want to change, but it’s
hard and I continue to doubt myself, similar to how Minny is beginning to doubt revealing her
stories to Skeeter for a change in the community.
Chapter 18
"Yes'm. He tell me not to tell you so you go right on thinking he proud a you. He love you so
much, Miss Celia. I seen it on his face how much."
In this quote, Minny is telling Celia that her husband will love her no matter what. Celia
doesn’t have to be a cook or have children in order to gain his love; he will love her anyways.
This makes me think about how people in relationships today have to base their love around
material items. I once heard someone say that they were glad for a Valentine gift they got from
their loved one because otherwise, they wouldn’t be together anymore. Some people think they
can buy love or get someone to love them by giving them things. This isn’t true. I know I’ve
never felt it myself, but I’ve heard it, and when people really love each other, they don’t need to
give them things. Love doesn’t seem to revolve around materials. Not everything in this world
revolves around superficiality, which is something that I keep reminding myself.
Chapter 19
"Say she'd pay her back her back some every week, but Miss Hilly say no. That a true Christian
don't give in charity to those who is well and able. Say it's kinder to let them learn to work things
out themselves."
This quote describes how Hilly thinks of her maid as “well and able” monetarily to be
able to handle issues herself without having to ask for money. Hilly has a lot of money – it
wouldn’t be a big deal for her to be charitable for once. She thinks that since her maid is capable
of working, she should work for the money. Her wealth puts herself in a higher social status than
the maid where Hilly comes to believe that she is too good to give to charity. However, Hilly
was also white and her maid was black; I believe that the racial difference played a big role in
determining Hilly’s generosity towards the maid in the first place. In today’s world, there is
much more integration and acceptation and many more charitable donations than in the past. Our
countries constantly tries to help poorer ones in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by fundraising
and supplying those in need. Many famous celebrities reach out to those in need by throwing
charity concerts and donating thousands of dollars. The racial difference back in the day caused a
lack in generosity which contrasts to today’s world where integrations brings a more accepting
personality to society.
Chapter 20
“’It makes me sick to hear about that kind of brutality.’ Daddy sets his fork down silently… ‘I'm
ashamed sometimes, Senator, ashamed of what goes on in Mississippi.’”
In this quote, Skeeter’s dad is showing disappointment in his own race. He is
disappointed in the white people to so badly treat the colored as the stories are told in Skeeter’s
book. Even though the races are different, it is not fair for people born a certain way to be treated
cruelly. This quote makes me think about families where abuse is common. When I hear of
parents who beat their kids or mistreat them because they were born mentally handicapped or a
female gender in China. A few weeks ago in Child Psychology, we watched a video about
“China’s Lost Girls,” which discussed how the one child policy in child caused many parents to
give up their baby daughters or sometimes kill them so that they could have one child of the
“better” male gender. It makes me feel ashamed that people of my race do this, and I feel sick
knowing that parents can willingly give up and hurt their children. I know numerous Chinese
girls who are adopted because their Chinese families did not want them back home. It’s sad to
see things like this happen, and I feel much disappointment in my own race for doing this.
Chapter 21
“So instead of feeling sorry fro myself every minute of the day, I work. I type. I sweat”
This quote is about Skeeter trying to distract herself from her heartbreak by working. It is
that feeling when you are bothered by something, but try to keep yourself away from thinking
about it by working or doing school work. I remember doing this for months back in sixth grade
when I got in a fight with my best friend. We started to not become friends anymore, and inside
it really hurt. I tried to distract myself for the rest of sixth grade so that I wouldn’t think about
her. I never worked harder in my life. I always try to keep myself busy when I have something
big and upsetting hanging over my mind.
Chapter 22
“It was every day from 1941 to 1947 waiting for them beatings to be over. I wish to God I'd told
John Dudley Green he ain't going to hell. That he ain't no sideshow freak cause he like boys. God
I wish I'd fill his ear with good things like I'm trying to do with Mae Mobley.”
This quote deals with the issue of being different and being put down by society because
of it. John Dudley was homosexual and he used to get beat up at home by his father. Aibileen
was his maid at the time and she always saw the good in this boy even though he was different.
In this quote, we hear Aibileen sounding regretful, wishing that she helped John’s self esteem the
way she’s doing with Mae. If Aibileen made John feel better about himself and less out of place,
he may have had a higher self esteem and a higher sense of self worth. I hear many stories of
people who are gay struggling to get somewhere in the world. There are still many people who
are against gay marriage and are against the idea of two people of the same gender to be
romantically involved. Not everyone can understand that some people don’t feel the way that
everyone else does. I support gay marriage completely because everyone deserves to be with the
type of person that they love and that may not always be someone of the opposite gender.
However, people like this are always put down by society and I sympathize with their pain. I
understand that for John Dudley it must’ve been extremely hard during his time, and that he
could’ve used any help given out to him. It makes me upset that he had to be treated the way he
Chapter 23
“Ever colored person in Jackson gets in front a whatever tee-vee set they can find, watches
Martin Luther King stand in our nation’s capital and tell us he’s got a dream…I can’t believe so
many peoples is there – two hundred fifty thousand. And the ringer is, sixty thousand a them is
The surprising part of this quote is that there is a large number of white people at the
nation’s capital to watch a black man talk. There are white people who want change too. The
event is publicized because maybe the president wants to see change too. This reminds me of
Obama’s inauguration ceremony. My parents were watching the event in awe because they still
couldn’t believe that we were going to have the first black president in history. Not everyone
who supported him had to be black, necessarily. He gained the support of people of all races and
won because he gained more electoral votes for his campaign, not his race. Change is one thing
in this world that is not defined by appearance. When Martin Luther King spoke, people who
wanted change didn’t begin to judge because it was a black man talking on the podium, they just
Chapter 24
“Is this really happening? Is a white woman really beating up a white man to save me? Or did he
shake my brain pan loose and I'm over there dead on the ground…”
From this quote, it easy to tell how surprised Minny is when she sees Celia beating up a
white man up for her. In times of need and trouble, people will help each other out, despite racial
differences and barriers. There is a little Portuguese boy in the nursery school that we take care
of in child development. Because he speaks no English, he is finding difficulties making friends
here. Despite the fact that I speak no Portuguese whatsoever, when I see him alone, I always
make an attempt to play with him or get him to play with other. The language barrier doesn’t
stop me from helping him out in trying to adjust to the life and the people here in America. I try
to give him friends and try to be a friend. Today racial differences aren’t a problem. It is much
easier to interact with others of a different race than it was in the sixties.
Chapter 25
“At seven o’clock on a cool November night, guests will arrive at the Robert E. Lee Hotel bar for
the cocktail hour… In the center of the room, beneath gigantic chandelier, twenty eight tables are
dressed and ready for the sit down dinner to be served at nine. A dance floor and band stand are
off to the side, opposite the podium where Hilly Holbrook will give her speech.”
This quote highlights the elegance of a place and how fancied up a place gets when an
important white woman needs to say something. People of higher social status tend to get things
done and prettied up for them when they visit. People think that they need to impress people of
higher status with fancy things and superficial items, which is mostly true. We live in a
superficial world where people need to see things to feel appreciated rather than feel them. Social
Status emphasizes superficiality by creating a need for it in order to impress others.
Chapter 26
“’You shut your mouth, Sugar.’ I yanked her to the corner. ‘Don’t you never let me hear you
talking bad about the lady who put food in your mouth, clothes on your back! You hear me?’”
This quote highlights the event when a daughter highly disrespects her mother. I hate it
when people talk badly of their parents where they are the ones that raised them and took care of
them. I know that I have hated my parents at times, but I would never disrespect my mother
because I understand that the job is hard and that no matter what, my mother will always try her
best to protect me. In today’s world, it is common, though, to see children disrespect their
parents and run away from home because of a dislike towards a boyfriend or girlfriend, exactly
like what Sugar is going through. People are selfish in general, and this quote affects me because
it reminds me that my parents are important and that I shouldn’t hurt them in any way for my
own selfish needs.
Chapter 27
"A lot of colored womans got to give their children up, Skeeter. Send they kids off cause they
got to tend to a white family."
This quote refers to the sacrifices black maids have to make in order to work for white
families to make a living. Skeeter’s old maid, Constantine, had to give up her daughter because
she came out pale. It was hard to make a living as a black woman in the sixties. Racial barriers
still seem to exist in the work place today. Right now, a group of three Mexican men are making
a stone wall in my backyard. My dad paid them five thousand dollars to do this. Hearing this the
first time, I thought that was a lot. However, my dad’s friend told him that had it been a group of
white men, it would have cost much more to get that stone wall built. I also can’t help but notice
that most of the people who work at McDonald’s or other fast food restaurants come from a
Spanish background. It must be hard for them to find any type of work else where. Racial
barriers continue to exist today and people must certain sacrifices, such as accepting a lower
wage than a white man, in order to find work.
Chapter 28
"Gertrude is every Southern woman's nightmare. I adore her."
The publisher, Elaine Stein, is referring to Minny, whose fake name in the book is
Gertrude. In the book, Gertrude is an interesting black character for she doesn’t seem to show
any respect for the white women at all. When she gets angry, she will talk back or get revenge in
some way. Gertrude put poop in the cake for Miss Hilly this one time too. She is a black woman
that most white women should fear. She defies the relationship between a black maid and a white
owner by not having to agree to everything they tell her to do. She is independent. These types of
people cause a whole lot of trouble, but they are also excellent role models. I am not the
outspoken type of person, but sometimes I do look up to people who are because I wish I had a
stronger sense of independence. People like Minny make me want to be more independent and
stronger, and defy racial barriers. Like Elaine, I adore Minny too.
Chapter 29
“This one's for the white lady. Tell her we love her like, like she's our own family.”
This quote is from the Reverend of the colored church referring to Miss Skeeter. The
book had just been published, and the colored community is proud of her bravery. Miss Skeeter
is honored in the black community but once the white community finds out she was a part of the
book, she will be an outcast and looked down upon. The fact that people today can live in
integration makes me think proudly of how far our country had come from. An author today who
takes such risks writing about any type of controversial topic will face admiration for taking the
leap. Risks are appreciated today, and people will support the risks others takes despite the race.
Today, people are able to love people of the other race like family, and even actually become
family. The country’s gone through big changes over the years and we are able to appreciate and
love others that are different from ourselves.
Chapter 30
“I’ve never heard Aibileen like this. It’s like she’s me and I’m her.”
This quote takes place after Aibileen gets angry at Skeeter for not thinking the book
through, not thinking that there was a chance that Hilly would read the book. Throughout the
book, Aibileen has remained composed and has never raised her voice at Skeeter. However, now
with trouble looming above her, Aibileen seems to have changed. Hard times always happen to
change a person. I know that when my brother gets me angry, I will scream and raise my voice at
him and everyone else, which is something that I very rarely do. Trouble brings out the worst of
me, as it does in everyone else, including Aibileen.
Chapter 31
“’Miss Taylor said to draw what we like about ourselves best.’ I saw then a wrinkled sad looking
paper in her hand. I turned it over and sure enough, there's my baby girl done colored herself
Aibileen has always been an important figure in Mae’s life. However, Mae decided to
color her skin black in a drawing she did in school. Mae shows tons of love and affection
towards Aibileen despite race. This makes me think about how little kids always seem to be
colorblind, non- judgmental. I work at the nursery school for my child development class, and in
there, there are many kids of different races and backgrounds. Yet, it doesn’t seem to matter to
anyone. Kids play with one another no matter what; it is usually hard to leave someone out of
playing a game of Simon Says or Shark. There is a kid in the nursery school with Alopecia,
which causes the child to be bald. I remember first wondering on the first day of school if the kid
had cancer or was sick in some way; I felt worried, and I also feel ashamed that I was so quick to
judge. The kids didn’t judge at all. The child with Alopecia easily made friends, and my child
development teacher told us that she never heard one kid this whole year ask him why he was
bald. Little kids seem to be born in a non-judgmental way. All the stereotypes seem to be drilled
into our heads later on in life.
Chapter 32
“’Miss Hilly told Miss Lou Anne… She say… she gone think about it.’
‘Which one? The firing or the jail?’
‘…Both, I reckon.’”
In this quote, Skeeter and Aibileen are contemplating on what to do once Hilly finds out
that the book is about her. According to them, Hilly will fire Aibileen and put her in jail; she
won’t stop until she gets them in trouble. Earlier in the book, Aibileen had said that a white man
would get revenge by burning down the house, while a white woman would take away your job,
your house, your everything and let you suffer until you die. The feeling of revenge is referred to
strongly in this quote and it is a feeling that everyone can relate to. We all feel like taking
everything away from someone, let them suffer and go through the same thing we did when they
hurt us. It is a common feeling, however, it must feel stronger when the feeling of revenge is
towards a certain race and when the town is segregated at the time.
Chapter 33
“The doorbell in the house ring again, but I stay put. I’m on do it tomorrow, I say to myself. Just
in case, I’m on tell Mae Mobley goodbye.”
I like this quote because Aibileen is on the verge of getting in trouble and she is still
thinking about Mae. Despite the trouble, caring about the ones she loves never leaves her heart. I
remember one time last summer when my mom and dad got into a fight. I remember my dad
leaving and not coming back for a few days. My mom was hurt, but she never once let her
feelings get in the way of taking care of us. In those few days that my dad wasn’t home, my mom
never spoke about it once. My mom went on like nothing happened and continued to cook for
my brother and me and be there for the both of us when we got upset. This quote shows and
reminds me that no matter how hard life gets, the ones you love will always be there for you.
Chapter 34
And then she say it, just like I need her to. "You is kind," she say. "You is smart. You is
At the beginning of this book, Aibileen used to tell Mae that she was kind, smart, and
important to make her feel good about herself so that she could keep her self esteem high. Now
Mae is saying these things to Aibileen when she is feeling down. Aibileen had become a role
model for Mae, despite the fact that she is a colored maid; she raised Mae and had always been
there for her when her mother hadn’t. Mae always had Aibileen to look up to. This reminds me
of my relationship with my younger cousin. When she was first born, I used to always spend
time with her. After a while, her parents trusted their daughter with me and I became a babysitter
to my cousin. I was always around her, nearly every day of the week. Every thing that I did, she
would do. Now my cousin is five years old, and she is acting the same way towards me. She
even talks and acts like me too. My cousin always wants to come visit me and come take care of
me because I keep telling her I’m tired. I know that she looks up to me, and she wants me to look
up to her now. I played a role model in her life that she is trying to mimic.