"Change Begins with a Whisper"
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi and begins in August 1962. The story is based around three characters that act as narrators; Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny. The novel starts off with Aibileen Clark.
Aibileen is a 53- year old black woman who works for a white family, the Leefolts. She is the motherly figure to their only daughter and cater to their every need. She lost her son in an accident three months beofre she began working for the Leefolts. Later in the story, she shares her knowledge of her past and current situations to help one of her friends become successful.
Aibileen and Mae Mobley
Aibileen takes care of Mae Mobley Leefolt and saves her from the verbal and sometimes physical abuse of her mother, Elizabeth. Mae Mobley often mourns for her mother but loves Aibileen just the same.
The Ladies Circle
This circle consists of classy, wealthy women that often participate in Bridge card games. The novel starts off with Hilly Holbrook mentioning her attempt to get a law passed that causes families with African American employees to build separate bathrooms for their workers. This sets off a mass problem between the women.
After minimal persuasion, the Leefolt's decide to build an extra bathroom off the back of their house for Aibileen to use.
Constantine and Skeeter
Skeeter grew up with Constantine as a part of her family. At some point while she was away finishing school, Constantine packed up and moved away and even Skeeter's own mother refuses to tell her why.
Celia Foote and Minny
Minny is offered the job of a lifetime with a talentless, Marilyn Monroe look-alike, woman. She is hired to teach Celia how to cook for her husband John, but is kept a secret out of the fear of being judged by a wealthy white man.
Minny is known as the best baker in all of Jackson. She is a good friend of Aibileen and worked for Hilly's mother, Miss Walters. After an unknown incident, she loses her job and her name becomes horrid around the town. She eventually finds a job working for Mrs. Celia Foote and attempts to teach her how to cook.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan
Skeeter is an accomplished woman but is told she is worthless, by her mother, until she marries. She acquires a job at the Jackson Journal where she writes a Miss Myrna column about housework and relationships. She goes to Aibileen immediately for advice, since she is very uneducated in both categories.
Hilly is bitter towards all of the African American workers in Jackson because her mother had a bad experience with Minny. Once Hilly gets a hold of Skeeter's published book, she begins trying to prove that it's set in Jackson. However, due to an exposed secret that slanders her name, she manages to stay quiet.
Elizabeth is the employer of Aibileen and only cares about her image to others. She mistreats her daughter and is willing to do whatever it takes to uphold her name.
Skeeter and Stuart
After many failed dating attempts, Stuart proposes to Skeeter. However, Skeeter tells Stuart about her book called The Help and he decides to call off the proposal due to a previous relationship revolved around civil rights.
Celia and Johnny Foote
This couple employs Minny Jackson. Celia has had multiple miscarriages and believes if she tells her husband, he will leave her. Eventually, he expresses his knowledge of Minny and allows her to continue working for them.
Miss Walters is Hilly's mother and has gone insane. She accuses Minny of doing awful things to her, one of them being that she baked a chocolate pie for her and Hilly and included her own poo in the recipe. Throughout the entire book, she is out to get Minny.
The Finished Product
Thanks to the advice and stories given from Aibileen and other workers throughout the town, Skeeter's book is published and she is offered a job in New York. She eagerly takes the opportunity and passes her writing column onto Aibileen.
Aibileen Jackson is a 53- year old black woman who works for a white family, the Leefolts. She is the motherly figure to their only daughter and caters to their every need. She lost her son in an accident three months before she began working for the Leefolts.