The Help By Kathryn Stockett Essay

1154 Words 5 Pages
Set during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1950’s, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, explores the turmoil of this time from the perspective both African-American and white Americans in the south, focusing on women’s experiences. Throughout this novel Stockett shows glimpses of what life was like for an African-American person, the way they were treated, the responsibilities they had and the overall unfairness bestowed upon them. In The Help, the author contrasts the experiences of the characters and how race and gender race play into shaping social expectations. Minny and Hilly are prime examples of how gender and race influence and affect a person’s life. Both of these women have different expectations thrust upon them by the people in their community. Both women are proud of themselves and their families, but societal expectations are quite different for Hilly as a white woman versus Minny as an African-American woman. Hilly, as a member of the white middle class, is expected to be the perfect southern woman, always having her make-up, hair and clothing perfect. Nearly all the women of this class are expected to be married and have children by the age of 23 and not to work. During the mid 1900’s, most white women went to college until they met their husband and then they often dropped out to get married and start a family. Although they have some similarities, such as taking care of their families, African-American women of this time, had some…

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