The Help

The Help

isa captivating movie that reveals interesting themes such as gender,class, racial injustice and attribution. The movie is derived fromthe 2009 novel, going by the same name written by Kathryn Stockett.The movie, released on August 10, 2011, was written and directed byTate Taylor, who is a childhood friend of Stockett. TheHelp is a story about the lives ofAfrican-American women, who work as maids for white women in Jackson,Mississippi. After watching this particular movie, one cannot fail tonotice interesting characters as such as Aibileen,MinnyJackson, andHillyHolbrook. Aibileen and Minny Jackson are African-American maids, whocannot hide their hatred towards their white bosses. These two womenclearly bring out perception through attribution, stereotyping andracial prejudices. Hilly Holbrook is a white woman who cannot standsharing a bathroom with a black maid. This character has been used inthe novel to bring out the concept of social class, racial injustice,and attribution. The three identified characters will be analyzed toreveal the concepts of racial prejudice and stereotyping in themovie.

Racial prejudice can be described as hatred ordiscrimination towards a particular group of people, race or religion(McCornack, 108). In this movie, racial prejudice is the hatred isthe prejudice practiced by the white employers towards their blackmaids (Dargis, par4). In one of the scenes, Hill Holbrook complainsthat there is no bill requiring homes to have a separate bathroom for&quotcolored help&quot. Despite the fact the black maids did almostevery house chore for the white women, Holbrook finds it difficult toshare a bathroom with them. This kind of perception of the blacksreveals the level of racial intolerance by the white employerstowards their servants. One cannot fail to notice Aibileen’s andMinny’s hatred and prejudice towards the white employers throughher communication. The two maids keep on talking ill of their whiteemployers and associate their bad manners and laziness to their race.According to McCornack, prejudice is a concept of perception thatexplains the differences and conflicts between races, groups ofpeoples and gender (97). According to McWhorter, the movie is highlyresourceful in portraying the theme of racial prejudice to bringlight to the public the adverse impacts of racism to our homes, thebuilding blocks of the society (par 1).

Perception has clearly been revealed throughAibileen`s stereotypical mode of communication. A stereotype is aform of generalization, usually exaggerated or oversimplified way ofdescribing a group or entity (McCornack, 89). At one time, Aibileensays to Skeeter “And they just dropped him at the colored hospital……………they took him off the truck and the white men droveaway” (Kathryn, 153). This particular sentence reveals Aibileen’sperception of the hospital through the label she gives its “colored”meaning the hospital that takes care of the African-American only.Minny is another character that has revealed the concept ofstereotyping through gender profiling. She argues that her malecounterparts leave their families behind like garbage but womenalways take care of their kids (Kathryn, 311). She perceives allblack men as irresponsible and oblivious of their families. She alsoperceives all white women as lazy and people who cannot take care ofthemselves leave alone their kids. From her perception,African-American women are more caring and responsible compared totheir white counterparts.

Throughout the movie, Holbrook is a characterthat cannot restrain from showing her hatred and stereotypicalbeliefs about the black community. She is quoted saying “How canthey build all these houses without servant quarters for the maids?These people are dangerous since they harbor all kinds of diseases”(Kathryn, 8). To emphasize her hatred towards the black maids, shenames her idea of an extra separate bathroom for maids as “HomeHelp Sanitation Initiative” (Kathryn, 60). Holbrook associated theblack people with dirt and diseases. She believes that the blackmaids cannot maintain standards of cleanliness to keep off fromdiseases. However, this is extremely sarcastic since the black maids,who are associated with diseases, are the same people bestowed withthe responsibility of maintaining hygiene in the white homes.McCornack argues that stereotyping reveals an individual`spreconceived ideas about race, a group of people or a person.However, most of the times, the preconceived ideas and beliefs turnout to be imaginary (119).

From the paper, there is enough evidence tosupport my argument that “” is a movie that clearlyportrays the concept of perception through its themes such as racialprejudice, stereotyping and gender differences. Apart from being afascinating movie, isa movie that has generated hot debates on the issue of racism andsocial segregation. From its characters and themes, the movie is asignificant resource that enables a viewer to clearly understand thecommunication aspect of perception. The movie has expanded myknowledge and understanding of the term perception and itsapplication in a practical state of affairs.

Works Cited

Dargis Manohla. ‘TheMaids’ Now Have Their Say. NewYork Times, August 9, 2011. Available on:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/movies/the-help-spans-two- worlds-white-and-black-review.html[Accessed on 29thSeptember, 2015]

Kathryn Stockett. TheHelp. (2010). Penguin Publisher.

McCornack Steven (n.d). Reflectand Relate: An Introduction to Interpersonal Communication 3rdEdition.

McWhorter John . TheHelp’ Isn’t Racist. Its Critics Are.New Republic, August 17 2011.Available on:http://www.newrepublic.com/article/film/93779/the-help- black-racism[Accessed on 29th September, 2015]