Similarities Between The Help And Tess Of The D Urbervilles

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In Stockett’s The Help and Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles the key characters are affected by the society in which they live, in a variety of different ways. The Help focuses on the segregation of society in the 1960’s. It focuses on two black maids who tell their stories to Skeeter, a young white writer. They all work together to challenge these unfair practices enforced by white men and women. In Tess of the D’Urbervilles the story is based on the life of Tess Durbeyfield who is sent to pursue a loose family connection in order to improve her own family’s wealth. Tess is forced to return home as she is raped by her cousin which shames her for the rest of her life. The impact of social oppression in The Help highlights the discrimination …show more content…
Aibileen is firstly shown to be socially oppressed due to the fact she is a black maid working for a white family. Aibileen cooks, cleans and cares for Miss Leefolt 's family and child, Mae Mobley. In this novel black maids are not treated very fairly as the white people believe they carry "all kinds of diseases," the use of the word disease makes the reader think of the black maids as contaminated therefore dangerous to be around. When Miss Leefolt 's friends, Hilly, Elizabeth and Skeeter go round to play bridge, Miss Skeeter comments on how "Hilly raises her voice about three octaves higher when she talks to colored people." Suggesting that the white ladies believe they are superior and of a higher social status then the black women. They also think they can talk to them in a belittling manner. "Elizabeth smiles like she 's talking to a child, although certainly not her own." Also implying white women talk to their maids in a patronising way, which was accepted during this time in society. Hilly then gives Skeeter a letter containing her "Home Help Sanitation Initiative" which is a low cost bathroom for the black maids in order to protect them from diseases which "whites can become permanently disabled from." Proving how narrow minded and discriminative these women are due to the colour of their skin; the use of the word disabled also …show more content…
Aibileen and Miss Leefolt’s daughter Mae Mobley have a strong relationship and Aibileen treats her like one of her own children. She attempts to boost Mae’s self-esteem and confidence which has been put down due to her abusive mother. “Miss Leefolt grab Mae Mobley by the arm, jerk it hard.” After this Miss Leefolt hits Aibileen but Aibileen then tries to break the cycle of violence by showing Mae Mobley love and affection which her mother fails to give her. Presenting the idea that although Aibileen’s only the maid, she cares for Mae Mobley and knows that no child should be treated that way and repeatedly reminds Mae that “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” Mentioning the words kind, smart and important really highlights what a caring woman Aibileen is and shows her strong beliefs of how she thinks the treatment of some white children is wrong. Although she is unable to tell Miss Leefolt what she thinks she manages to reassure Mae Mobley that she isn’t a bad child. Therefore although she oppressed because she cannot retaliate to Miss Leefolt she manages to make others, like Mae Mobley benefit and find a way to channel the mistreatment of herself and Mae Mobley into a positive thing. Aibileen also wants to teach Mae Mobley about race and equality, through stories of white and black children who decide “We’s the same just a different color.” Aibileen is

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