Stereotypes In A Lesson Before Dying And The Help

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How stereotypes played a role in A Lesson before Dying and The Help

The characters in A Lesson before Dying and The Help experience the negative effects of stereotyping. Throughout both novels we see how rules and laws were used against coloured people simply based on the fact that they were coloured, we take a look at how blacks were treated when it came to a crime taking place or being solved and lastly we see the negative effects that how blacks were treated can have on a character. In this novel you see many instances where stereotyping comes into play and does end up affect characters negatively, whether that be, being sent to jail for a crime you did not commit or living in constant fear of being punished for attempting to change the
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If I crime took place and it happen to involve someone of colour, the chances of them being punished were much higher than that of a white person. In a lesson before dying, Jefferson was put into jail without having an proof that he actually committed the crime, he was just simply “at the wrong place at the wrong time” (7) Much like what took place in a lesson before dying, Alibieen was accused by Miss Hilly for supposedly stealing silver. Miss Hilly didn’t actually look into the situation and just immediately got on to Alibieen because of the stereotype that black people commit crimes. This obviously affects Alibieen negatively, as it is another thing that can be used against her. Lastly in The help, Aibileen wasn’t allowed nor was she supposed to be teaching young Mae Mobley about equality and rights, there were many times where Aibileen was put in sticky situations and was almost found out. The stress from constant worry that someone would find her trying to teach Mae right from wrong had a negative effect on Aibileen’s. Over all, stereotyping had a big effect on the characters in each novel because coloured people were not treated in the same way …show more content…
In a lesson before dying, while Jefferson was in court, it was stated “What justice would there be to take this life? Justice, gentlemen? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this.” (8) Implying that Jefferson is no better than an animal and he should be treated as an animal. Jefferson took this to heart and it affected him negatively as he then started acting as if he was a hog. Jefferson saw no reason to act like a human if everyone thought of him as the equivalent to a hog. Secondly Mae Mobely, Abilieens “special baby”(2) would be scolded if she spent too much time around Alibieen or tried to be like her, for example using her segregated washroom. This has a negative effect on Abilieen because Mae was her who entire life and seeing her get in trouble because of her was upsetting and knowing it was because she was coloured made it all worse. Lastly, when Abilieen, Skeeter and Minny finished their book and Miss Hilly got a copy of it, she went around tell everyone in the town to fire their coloured help. This was deteriorating to the girls as they worked so hard on the book, hoping for change. All in all, stereotyping had a big part in both books because Jefferson was compared to a hog, Mae Mobely would be scolded for trying to use Abileens segregated restroom and Alibieen, Skeeter and Minny

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