Comparing Walt Whitman, Beloved and the Help

Comparing Walt Whitman, Beloved and the Help

Issue of race in Jackson, Mississippi, in The Help: combination of Whitman’s egalitarianism and individualism and Morrison’s description of inequality

  1. Introduction

Throughout time the issue of race has gone through several important transitions and therefore it has been a controversial writing topic for many novelists and poets. For a long time African American people were disdained and used as slaves and later on as help in the household. Laws, such as the Jim Crow Laws, regarding race and human rights were very rigorous and those who did not abide the law were punished severely. When thinking about the struggle it has been for those with African heritage and the people who have fought to reach equality, Martin Luther King and Megdar Evers come to mind.

The novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett, adapted for the screen by Tate Taylor, is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s. A young girl, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan aspires to become a writer and averse to the way her friends treat the African American maids and driven by the love for her own maid Constantine, she decides to document the life stories of the servants and tries to get them published. Throughout the story, a realistic representation of the 1960’s society is being viewed and there are several sides to the story. Firstly a side that describes the inequality, secondly the struggle with the law and its representatives and thirdly a relationship of love and respect between the help and the children they nurture.


  2. Inequality represented in The Help and Beloved

One of the main characters is black maid Aibileen Clark. She has been a maid since she was a teenager. She has known she would be one since her mother was a maid and her grandmother was a house slave. Aibileen is a loving woman and cares for the white babies as if they were her own even though she caries with her a very dark secret, namely the death of her own son Treelore with which she is absolutely tormented. “Three years...

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