Print to Film: The Help

Eric Benenson, Marisa Villanueva, and Tyler Whiting

Characters

Similarities:

Hilly is the "leader" of the women for Jackson, Mississippi.


Aibileen is a kind and careful black woman.


May Boley is an overweight white baby.


Differences:

In the book, Constantine's daughter is white, but in the movie, she is black.


In the book, Constantine's daughter is named Lulabelle, but in the movie, she is named Rachel.


In the book, Skeeter is much taller than most of the girls, but in the movie, she is about the same height.



Plot

Similarities:

Skeeter puts it in the newsletter that everybody should drop off their commodes at Hilly's house.


Hilly is seen as the "leader" of the women in Jackson.


Stuart breaks up with Skeeter for writing such a controversial book.


Differences:

When Skeeter applies for the job at the Jackson Journal, she gets $10 in the book, but in the movie, she doesn't haggle and gets only $8.


Constantine's daughter is white in the book, but black in the movie.


In the book, Aibileen helps write the book because of Mrs. Hilly, but in the movie, she says it is because of God.


Skeeter's mother gets gradually more sick in the book, but in the movie, she is always sick.

Setting

Similarities:

Everybody is in Jackson, Mississippi.


Skeeter lives on a cotton plantation outside of town.


Hilly's house is only a few blocks away from Elizabeth's.


Differences:

The place in which Skeeter told Stuart to get lost on their first date was different in the book and the movie. In the movie, it was at the restaurant, and in the book, it was at Hilly's house.


The place in which Mr. Johnny found out about Minny was different. In the movie, it was as Minny was bringing groceries to the house, but in the book, it was in the house.

Conflict

Similarities:

Cecilia rips Hilly's dress at the Benefit.


After Hilly finds the Jim Crow laws in Skeeter's satchel, she distances herself from Skeeter.


The death of Medgar Evers was significant



Differences:

When Skeeter dumps Stuart on their first date, in the book it is at Hilly's, but in the movie, it is at the restaurant.


Minny is constantly being beaten up by Leroy in the book, but there is no mention of this in the movie.


The naked white man attacks Minny at Ms. Cecilia's house in the book, but this doesn't happen in the movie.


In the book, Yule May steals a ring from Hilly, but in the movie, she asks for a loan, then steals the ring after Hilly says no about the loan.

Theme

Similarities:

Both the movie and the book stress that segregation has a lasting impact on the future of how people perceive their self-worth.


Both mediums reflect how different the feelings toward colored people were in the south from those in the north.


Differences:

The book stresses the separate bathroom situation more than the movie does, so this alters the theme of the book to be more heavily weighted on segregation and separate but equal laws.


The book goes into more depth of how dangerous writing this book was, but the movie only has a surface level explanation of it. This leads to a more courageous and brave view of Skeeter and the maids that helped her.


What integral scene in the novel was removed from the film? How does this affect meaning?

Why might the director have approached the film the way he did? Is it for the betterment of the work?

The way the movie was presented was by having Aibileen narrate the entire story instead of switching off between Minny, Skeeter, and Aibileen like the book did. The director may have approached the film this way because of how difficult it would have been had he tried to emulate how the book was presented. This presentation allowed the director to have a more cohesive film because had he constantly switched perspectives, it may have confused the viewer who was actually talking at times. I believe that this way allowed the work to be very well put together.

Consider critical acclaim for both the novel and the film. How do outside sources feel about each individually? Both?