by Kathryn Stockett
reviewed by Camryn Steele
The Help by Kathryn Stockett, a Historical novel, takes place in the early 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi. The Help illustrates themes of racism, friendship, and strength. The book portrays the amount of discrimination and pain black people felt during this period. Stockett explores the unjust issue with a profound and meaningful story. The contrast amongst skin colors creates a brutal and barbaric story, but one courageous and vigorous women gives “the help” a voice and a new meaning.
Skeeter, a white journalist, who was nearly raised by an African American slave, writes an anonymous story confronting prejudice against Africans. Risking their lives, Aibileen Clark, Minny Jackson, and many other brave black women help Skeeter create a story revealing what Africans lives are like and what goes on in white homes behind closed doors. These women are underprivileged and lack basic human rights. They are forced to be respectful and considerate to their “owners” when they themselves aren’t admired for what they do. Aibileen is a robust and fierce character that shapes the story by using her fervent actions and words. She does this not only to help herself but to help the women who are too scared to stand up for themselves. The contrast of the two skin colors and different personalities creates the perfect story. With the help of friendships and staying together, these women support one another, while fighting for equality.
The Help gave me a better understanding of the cruel and unjust human rights that surround us today and in the past. I also learned how important it is to chase and conquer your dreams because the outcome can be significant. This book would appeal to many readers who enjoy Historical novels and great hardships. This book allows the readers to see different sides of segregation and the effect it had on slaves and slave owners. Overall, The Help is an inspiring novel that educates you on African Americans and their purpose. It inspired me to have hope, courage, and stand up for what I believe in.