The Rabbit Proof-fence Essay

The Rabbit Proof-fence Essay.

The movie is an Australian drama film made in 2002. It shows the history of the Aboriginals during the 1930s. It was directed by Phillip Noyce based on the book written by Doris Pilkington Garimara, it is based on a true story told by the two girls who ran away for the More River Native Settlement as shown in the movie. In 100 years, Aborigines resisted the white settlers. Now a specific law is controlling them how to govern their lives down to the smallest detail.

Mr. Neville is the protector and guardian of every Aborigine in the State of Western Australia. He has the power to remove any half-castes/ half blooded child from its family.

“Western Australia the 1931st Molly, Daisy and cousin Gracie are three Aboriginal girls half blood, which belongs in Jigalong tribe. The tribe keeps close to the white settlers trading station and gets (like wild animals at feeding stations) receive their ration each day. The girls brought up to be hunters and gatherers, but in the city of Perth has Land’s patron, Mr.

AO Neville, other plans with the girls. He gives power to remove the three girls and reassign them to reform schools in Moore River Settlement.

The girls are removed by force, despite fierce resistance from their desperate mothers. The long journey to the Moore River is as Cattle, while Mr. Neville keeps slide show about eugenics for women in the local housewives’ association. Molly is the clevererst and bravest of the three girls, it’s her who tricks the Englishmen and Moodo as they are escaping from Moore River. She is good at leading the way and backing the others up, if they are down and won’t walk. We follow them from the start when they were taken from their families and when they were put into the camp and when they escape the camp and you follow their way 1500 miles home.

The Moore River Settlement was an Aboriginal settlement and internment camp, it is located 135 kilometres north of Perth in Western Australia near the headwaters of the Moore River. The Government of Western Australia opened it in 1918, intended to be a small, self-supporting farming for 200 Aborigines, with schooling, health facilities for the children and job opportunities for the adults. The settlement had poor conditions, in 1924 there were 300 people living there, and later on it was rising to 500 people.

You see the big difference between white people and the aborigines in the movie, they are shown many times in the whole film. The girls, their mothers and all the other Aboriginal in the film are oppressed and discriminated against evictions or other violations. ‘Super villain’ Mr. Neville has absolutely no positive characteristics. He represents the arrogant white race. In reality, everything is more nuanced. Perhaps the thought of reality Neville just honestly that upbringing Institution was a help that the girls could get a better life. Maybe he was nice to his wife and loved by his own children.

It gives no clue about. You see the utilization when the girls meet a local aboriginal at an English farm, where they are told to stay the night. The old Englishmen come at her room late at night, to have sexual intercourse with the aboriginal living on the farm. You see the whole movie whites controlling the aborigines and tell them what to do. In the movie we also meet Moodo he is an aboriginal working for the English, he is sent to find the three escaped girls, but they evade him several of times. I think Moodoo helps the English at the camp, so he can protect, help and see his child at the camp.

Phillip Noyce uses this movie to illuminate the oppression of the Aboriginals, which has been a huge problem. The film shows us what the aborigines had to deal with and witch conditions they had to live under. Rabbit Proof-fence is filmed from the Aboriginals point of view, and shows the viewers how badly they were treated. He gives us sympathy for the girls.

The white Australia was not really one to separate the races. In the U.S., Germany and even Denmark and Sweden were in the first third of the last century many eugenicists. Its most extreme expression had these attitudes during the Nazi regime in Germany from 1933. Here it was every but the

This is also a bit similar to apartheid in South Africa from 1948 to the early 1990’s. During apartheid were people classified as different racial groups, the largest were the black, white, coloured and Asians. They were separated from each other with force from the racial categories that had been made. Most of the black population was sent to some places called “homelands”. It was really meant that they would act as if they had autonomy, but they came more to serve as America’s reserves for the indigenous Americans, Indians.

The Rabbit Proof-fence Essay

The Role of Media and the Central Park Five Essay

The Role of Media and the Central Park Five Essay.

In 1989, five black boys in New York City, known as the Central Park Five, were accused and convicted of gang rape of a white women one night deep with in Central Park. Immediately the story received a large amount of media coverage. No one is safe, these four words came about instilling fear in NYC residents and placing the Five into the spotlight. The role of the media in this case, before and after their status as guilty was removed, was to heighten the climate of fear, contribute to an increase in racial tensions and, to demonstrate the presence of the white entitlement mindset.

While 1989 is well after the Civil Rights movement and should, theoretically, have been a less racist society, the US citizens retained stereotypical views. With using language like “Nightmare in Central Park”, “Teen Wolf pack Beats and Rapes…” and the use of “wildling” to describe their actions, the media painted the case and the suspects, five young boys, quite similarly as the boys accused in the Scottsboro trials were.

The word “savage” transcended the more than 50 years between each case thanks to the coverage. These descriptors heightened fear among the citizens in New York, setting them on the boys with a passion. The focus on the Central Park Five was like gasoline to a fire. With tensions already high, fear already present, the headlines in the media caused an outburst in conflict, setting back social progress so many had fought for. The fact that that victim was a middle class white women played on the past stigma that black man lusted after white women uncontrollably, something that people, mostly white, took issue with. The white society felt entitled to justice, to bringing these kids down just based on the color of their skin and the color of the victim’s.

In the end, even after the actual perpetrator, Reyes Matias, stepped forward, the media, through lack of coverage, proved how far society still had to go. The amount of attention the trial and incarceration received shows that people wanted to see black men go to jail for the rape and abuse of a white woman more so than seeing justice received. Even the prosecutor, to this day, denies that their innocence is real. No one is safe. These four words, simple as they are, hold so much. They enforced a fear of black men. They pushed for the incarceration of five young, innocent, boys. With these four words the media can change lives. For the Five, the media was a crucial factor in sealing their fate. The amount of coverage and then the lack thereof exemplifies the media’s role in enforcing stereotypes, increasing tensions, and heightening fear.

The Role of Media and the Central Park Five Essay

Ways of sunlight: Samuel Selvon character analysis Essay

Ways of sunlight: Samuel Selvon character analysis Essay.

INTRODUCTION

In literary works, characters usually illuminate the overt and covert themes of the story, the setting, the plots and subsequent subplots. The literary works’ creators need characters so as to emphasize on the major issues affecting our contemporary society. In his short stories anthology, ‘Ways of sunlight’, Samuel Selvon uses characters to present the themes and explain the actions they undertake in their lives. Using five short stories from the anthology we are able to understand how different characters have been used to highlight the major concerns.

The stories selected include; Johnson and the Cascadura, Down the main, Cane is bitter, Erasers dilemma and Obeah in the grove. The book ways of sunlight by Samuel Selvon mirrors the lives of Caribbean in Trinidad and London.

The first part is set in Trinidad where through various characters themes such as superstition, education, cultural practices, love and family and identity are discussed. In this part we are meant to see how life is conducted in Trinidad and the various challenges characters face day in day out.

Through the characters behaviors and their relations to the environment and other characters, we get acquainted with the main issues the writer aims at propagating. The second part of the book is set in London.

Here we learn of how immigrants get to familiarize and integrate themselves into a foreign land. We are made aware of their lives in a new home away from home. For instance in ‘Eraser’s Dilemma’, we are informed though in a humorous way, of the challenges an immigrant encounters in a foreign land. The excitement of the new world is not left unattended to as seen in ‘Waiting for auntie to cough’. This paper aims at critiquing the selected stories and evaluating how characters’ lives have been portrayed by the author in the five stories highlighted above.

In Johnson and the Cascadura, the main character, Johnson, is a white man from England who is a friend to Franklin the landowner of the coffee plantation. He is a friendly fellow since he blends in with the natives of the farm. He helped the women while they were sorting out the coffee. Moreover, he joined in some activities that were undertaken in the land for instance the traditional dances. He was not socially prejudiced since he was free while around the local ladies and even the narrator, Sam. This is evident as he confides in Sam; the Indian foreman, his romantic feelings towards Urmilla. His main intention for coming to the West Indies was to do a research for his book which was to be based on superstition. While on the plantation, he is portrayed as being social and helping more so to the girls to an extent that he falls in love with Urmilla, Sookdeo’s daughter. Her being an Indian girl, this is not taken well because culturally, she is not supposed to be involved with a white man. Such a relationship is viewed as an abomination. Johnson is forced to go back to England.

Before he leaves, Urmilla prepares for him the famous Cascadura stew which is believed to make a person come back to the Tropics no matter where s/he goes. Through his findings we are able to see the theme of superstition being addressed, for example, Johnson climbed the immortal tree in search of the vultures’ eggs since the locals believed the eggs brought good luck to whoever owned them. Moreover, Franklin confirms to him that he had a superstitious encounter one night when a ball of fire came out of nowhere and fell right in front of him. The next day when he went to check on the same spot he found no mark left by the ball of fire. Urmilla also believes in the superstition that says, ‘Those who eat the Cascadura, whenever they may wonder will end up in Trinidad’. That is why she ensures that Johnson eats the stew so that he comes back to her. Johnson is friendly with the natives so as to get information on the anticipated book.

He mingled freely with them and he was liked because he was writing a book about them. Sam, to some extent can be portrayed as being the villain since he is also in love with Urmilla. He is the foreman of Mr. Franklin’s farm. He was a hardworking worker as he saw that all the duties were performed. For example, he tells the girls to stop gossiping and continue with their task. He is also a very secretive person. I.e. he knows of the Urmilla and Johnson’s affair but keeps it to himself. This is evident when he doesn’t answer Mr. Sookdeo when asked if he knew the affair existed. He is later betrothed to Urmilla as a death bed wish from Sookdeo, something that he fails to fulfill. Through this action, Samuel illustrates the theme of betrayal since he betrays Sookdeo’s request of marrying Urmilla. Selvon unfortunately doesn’t show us the major role of Sam in the whole plot rather than just providing the theme of escapism and other roles that Mr. Franklin as a character could have also achieved.

However, love surpasses racial boundaries. Urmilla grow from the naïve girl to a woman ready to defend her feelings. Her growth though positive for her brings about rebellion and negative sentiments from people closes to her e.g. her father. Through her defying the norm of the society she sets a trend that will open other avenues to fight racial prejudice in Trinidad. Franklin, the landlord is also helpful in illustrating the binary opposition between the rich and the poor, the whites and the colored, masters and servants although he contrary to the other Caribbean writer portrayal of the white masters. He is kind and has good relations with his employees Sookdeo is also portrayed as being conservative of the traditions and customs of the society. Being Urmillla’s father, he is against the love affair between Urmilla and Johnson.

According to him they are different (racially) from one another. Characters portrayed in the story to a larger extent develop the theme of superstition and racial prejudice that existed in Trinidad at the time. Some characters however seem too good to be true as in the case of Franklin. The relationship between master and servant has always been that of oppressor and oppressed. Franklin however is brought out as an ideal master who can even stand accusations of betrayal from a mere local like Sookdeo. Sookdeo tells him that he trusted him (Franklin) to take care of his daughter but he failed to do so. More so, Johnson character to some extent, acts hypocritically. He argues that he does not believe in witchcraft and superstition but at the end of the story we see him convinced that the Cascadura he ate before his departure might have contributed to him coming back to Trinidad.

In Down the main the story centers on Frederick, an ex-soldier who was well compensated but due to his spendthrift nature, lives an extravagant kind of life. He decides to immigrate to Venezuela in search of good life and greener pastures. He inquire from Parker about life in Venezuela . He and the others (ling ping, ilsingh, Charles and Henry) sail for the main. At the start of the story, we are able to notice the theme of emigration as Frederick, Ling Ping, Lisingh and Henry migrate into the new county in such of good pastures. Their pathetic life situations in Trinidad make them risk their lives and freedom in search of greener pastures. Fredrick, having been convinced by Parker that life was much better in Venezuela chooses to abandon his home so that he can make a name for himself.

Though there were better life opportunities in Venezuela the nostalgic feeling of the characters cannot go unmentioned as seen in the case of Parker. He constantly asks Fredrick if he had heard and news from his aunty back in Trinidad because he was concerned about her status. Fredrick’s cunning side is evident when he reaches Venezuela for example he pays the man at the office, who helped him to acquire the legal documents i.e. ‘Cadula’, 20 bovalries (bees)” instead of 200 bees and when Enrique asks for his share he walks away hurriedly since he knew Enrique had a wooden leg and would not keep up his pace. After acquiring the ‘Cadula’ he cuts ties with Enrique. Samuel uses the actions and events of Frederick to portray the theme of corruption. He had to bribe the officer after he had handed him the cadula. He writes;

‘And with that he shakes the fellar hand and palm off a bill that was only twenty bees.’ Enrique is a well vast man. He is intelligent, cunning and corrupt. He knows how to go about acquiring the legal documents in Venezuela. Parker links Frederick to Enrique who will help him settle in Venezuela. Those who he assists have to pay huge sums of money. He is however betrayed by Frederick who fails to pay him after receiving the legal documents. Through Fredrick and Enrique, we are able to see concerns of immigration and corruption majorly being brought up. However the author fails to really show us the risks and danger the immigrants undergo in the foreign land. We are left to think that other than the task to acquire fake citizenship documents the immigrants have it easy. For instance Fredrick easily gets employed after getting the documents. This is however not always the case.

CANE IS BITTER

The story addresses how education clashes with traditional and cultural practices. Romesh, being educated, does not understand the traditional practice of arranged marriage that is to be inflicted on him. He is against the idea and advocates for his siblings to be educated so that they can have a better future. He sees traditional practices as being backward and undermining to his family and community at large. Due to the poor life that he has led, he understands the importance of education and wants to change the beliefs of his community so that they can have what he sees as the better life. Romesh, being the main character although enlightened to some level, comes out as naïve. He thinks that importing the knowledge he has learned on his parents would change their perception and hopefully divert them from the traditional practices. He does not seem to bear in mind that he is still their child and has to succumb to their rules.

The author tries to tell us that some practices i.e. arranged marriages, cannot be abolished in a day or by their ideologies of an individual. It takes more than education of a single family member to transform a community. His parents also; Rookmin and Ramlal have been ridiculed for being so conservative. They believe they have all they need in that small village with knowledge of sugarcane and cultivation only. They do not have a wider perspective of life and feel contented in their poverty. Rookmin is hard working and contented to working in the sugarcane plantation. She is caring to her children as she encourages the schooling of Romesh. She is submissive to the husband and does as the husband says. Through her, Sam Selvon shows the position of women in the society vis a vis that of men. In addition, she comes out as treacherous because she does not hold on to her initial plan of schooling Romesh but rather succumbs to her husband’s demands that he should stay at home and marry a local girl. Other characters such as his siblings do not play a major role in this literary work.

ERASER’S DILEMMA

Eraser’s dilemma is in the second part of the book. It deals with life in London. The author introduces us to the main character Eraser, a bus conductor who loves his job so much. Once he sent a photo of the bus he was working on to his grandmother back at St. Vincent. Once in a while he would help the older women on and off the bus. At some times, his jovial nature could be seen when he sang or asks the men to be gentlemen so as to allow the women to sit. When he gets a parcel left behind in the bus, he decides to look for its owner; Miss Bellflent, until he finds her only to realize that the parcel was meant for him. Samuel Selvon uses these characters to show the irony of life. While eraser moves with the parcel up and about he doesn’t realize that it is his present until Bellflent tells him.

Moreover Eraser’s dilemma has been presented in a humorous way to show the challenges immigrants face in a new city. The have to be cautious of how they act and be kind to strangers for fear of losing their jobs. Eraser had to search almost the entire town so as to return her the parcel. He feared that if she reported that she had left it in his bus, he would lose his job. Miss Bellflent on the other hand is a good hearted woman when she moves out from her previous abode she gives the conductor the parcel as a gift. When eraser comes to her new place she welcomes him in and offers him tea. Jack doesn’t play any role of importance to the audience. Themes are not well developed throughout the characters. This can be noted as a major shortcoming. Here the characters are mainly used to guide us throughout the story and understand the plots

OBEAH IN THE GROOVE

In obeah in the grove, we are introduced to the Ladbroke grove with a house that is owned by an English landlord and landlady. The two are too malicious they want to sell the house but they can’t with the tenants living in the houses. They decide to pull a trick that jack uses to get rid of his tenants. They welcome colored people into the house so that the rest of the white people could move out. Four boys from Jamaica move in to help with their plan. Through the actions of the landlord and landlady, we see the racial segregation in the grove and within the tenants. Agnes, a tenant does not like the possibility of living with the colored people. The four boys, Winky, Fiji, Buttards and Algernon, when realizing the intention of the landlord and landlady are annoyed.

Fiji is the intelligent one among the four as he manages to come up with the plan that will counter the intentions of the landlady and landlord. He comes up with the idea of using obeah. The boys are a team as they plan intelligently on how to execute the whole event. The presentation of the boys brings in the theme of superstition. The parcel contained the witchcraft paraphernalia. They planted them in front of the house and bit by bit the house started to fall apart, cracks form, the people who come to buy the house, one of them becomes mad a week later, the roof also falls.

The landlady breaks her leg while the landlord loses his job. The people are convinced that the house has been bewitched. The landlady and her husband are welcoming and at the same time mischievous. They use the boys to piss off the other tenants who are white out of the house in order to sell it. The four boys together are secretive and loyal as they keep their plan well hidden from any prying eyes and ears. Through the representation of the characters here we get to learn how easily the locals can be manipulated by fake witchcraft. The author ridicules the locals by presenting them as gullible.

CONCLUSION

Samuel Selvon has managed to effectively use lives of characters to bring out his major concerns which are superstition, racial segregation, immigration, education and cultural practices. The surroundings of the characters and their relationship towards each other has contributed to shaping their lives. However some characters are lacking in one way or another as portrayed above. Some have been exaggerated while others have been made to underperform. This binary in characters to some extent is what makes the selected short stories more illuminating and interesting.

Ways of sunlight: Samuel Selvon character analysis Essay

Illusions Brownies ZZ Packer Analysis Essay

Illusions Brownies ZZ Packer Analysis Essay.

The Brownies description of troop 909 “They were white girls, their complexions a blend of ice cream: strawberry, vanilla in the first few lines it is very clear that racial issues and segregation is a main topic. The author ZZ Packer did a great job stating since the beginning that the stories was going to be confrontational “Troop 909 was doomed from the first day of camp;” Segregation is also still happening during this time since there is no diversity in the members of the each troop, one is all African American and the other is all Caucasian girls.

The girls immediately start being rude and negative with the white girls calling them “wet Chihuahuas” that they smelled bad. The brownies are not interested in even getting to know the girls. No matter what the white girls would do, the brownies would be annoyed regardless. You can tell that the girls are very unaware color/race since there fourth grade class started using “Caucasian” as a joke whenever the kids felt it fit in.

Also stating that “Whites were like baby pigeons: real and existing, but rarely seen or thought about. During the time this story takes place segregation and racism was still very much alive blacks and whites only understood their own point of views and reacted by being closed minded on the issue.

This is apparent in Brownies since the story is told from a child’s perspective and usually kids form certain opinions based on their parent’s reaction of a subject or belief. The confrontation is promised in the part when Octavia commanded that every girl in the brownie troop by no means allow absolutely any one to disrespect any other the members by calling them “niggers.” Later that day one Arnetta says she heard one of the girls from troop 909 call them a “nigger.” At first one did not seem too concerned but as the day went on the thought had simmered inside her and she wanted some form of revenge. ZZ Packer showcases the Brownies secret racial hatred for the white girls through ironic humor. She transmits hidden philosophical messages to the reader through her words. While explaining the significance of a secret meeting, she also talks about the meaning of a secret saying, “A secret meant nothing; it was like gossip: just a bit of unpleasant knowledge about someone who happened to be someone other than yourself”. This is an effectual use of dramatic irony because the definition Packer provides for “gossip” is the basis of the entire story.

The Brownies creates the lie that one of the white girls used the racial slur “nigger” and this drives the rest of the story. Racism is also very apparent in the story line at no giving point in the story do you read anything about the scouts doing an activity together or mingling. Its this way it keep the animosity building up. The white girls seemed to always be the first ones doing everything. It demonstrate in a subtle way that they are superior than the black girls to us the reader. Whites are viewed as the better race in an all African American community. Everything about the girls in troops 909 radiate beauties that result in an envy and hatred from the brownies. “Their long, shampoo-commercial hair, straight as spaghetti from the box” such phrases are triggers that add up to bringing out racism. ZZ packer demonstrates how we are all in a way deprived and unfortunate.

The curve ball in the plot where the brownies encounter troop 909 and they discover that the girls are mentally challenged, put out in the open the unfairness and injustice experienced by society. The irony lies in that the brownies are now superior to the white girls because of their condition. It is interesting how from the beginning of the story we are made aware of Laurel feelings towards her father. Laurel was so captivated by Daphne’s poem “you are my father the veteran”. Laurel probably feels very proud of her father and the positive role he plays in her life. Once she started telling the girls about the story of the Mennonites. “ I now understood what he meant, and why he did it, though I didn’t like it”.

As laurel keeps telling the girls about her father’s action. An epiphany happened to her. Her father was doing the same things the Mennonites even though they were painting his porch he was not nice to them. It implies the insensibility people have to chosen to adopt when it comes to living peacefully with other races. Using irony and contrast, ZZ Packer tells us that it is unimaginable to find perfection in our world or an individual. no one is perfect and it is this inevitable imperfection of life that inflicts deprivation and misfortune in human lives.

Illusions Brownies ZZ Packer Analysis Essay

Eddie Mabo Essay Essay

Eddie Mabo Essay Essay.

I strongly agree with this statement because of his actions and personality throughout the film. My interpretation of this sentence is that Eddie is strong passionate person but he also faces the side of reality, that is, no one is perfect, and this is true what Perkins does to help us relate to Eddie and feel sorry for him. Eddie Mabo represented somebody who wasn’t just going to sit back and take it. Eddie Mabo is tired of being a victim of the unequal rights.

He’s perceived to be strong. He fought for what was his right and for his people. People full led of hate have perceived him as being a smart man who was going to ‘beat’ them at their own game. People who have racist views don’t necessarily cope very well with perceptions of strength. They need to perceive people as being weaker then them, less able than them, but in this case Eddie was too smart, and determined.

All throughout his life, Eddie Mabo showed us many strengths. He had leadership skills, especially considering his lack of education. He knew how to get people to believe in what he was saying, and was an inspiration to all of them. He was one of the first indigenous Australians to stand up for land rights, and would not back down even when everything seemed to be against him, displaying his powerful determination and belief in himself as a person. He also shows great respect and love for the land and his culture, which is the main driving force behind his fight for land rights.

Throughout his life, Eddie Mabo had many obstacles. The first of these was his banishment from Murray Island, as he had to fight for survival from a young age, fending for himself at the age of sixteen. This made growing up very difficult for him as well as the racism he suffered which made it hard for him to get work and shelter.

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Eddie Mabo Essay Essay

Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Essay

Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Essay.

Based off of this reading, it can be assumed that the conditions in the Indies during the time this text was written were not humane whatsoever. The actions of the Spaniards were very much barbaric, and completely contradict the religion which the Spaniards were trying so desperately to impose upon the natives of the Indies. Without having to go into detail, it is said by Bartoleme in the letter that the Spaniards would treat the people of the Indies as wild beasts, cattle, or animals.

But he then goes back on this statement saying that in fact they treated them less than livestock, because they at least took care of the livestock. This is a good example of how barbarically the Spaniards ruled over the Natives. There was no respect for the Natives, even though they were described as peaceful, passive, kind, and as overall decent human beings.

Yet in the eyes of the Spaniards, the same people were seen as barbarians and savages.

What makes the situation even more disturbing is that the Spaniards used the name of god to justify their ruthless actions. They saw it as their divine right to take over the Natives. Fortunately, there were people like Bartoleme that spoke out against these cruel acts. He wrote the letter describing all the acts of inhumanity towards the Natives to the King and Queen of Spain in order to create rules and regulations that would regulate the actions of the Spaniards in the Indies. This alone was a substantial act of humanity.

The only ironical part is that he suggests that the Spanish use African people instead of using the Natives of the Indies for labor. Unfortunately at the time, there were still mass amounts of racism, even amongst the most noble of men. Men such as Bartoleme who spoke out against cruel acts were still subject to their own racist antics. Although this wasn’t very out-of-the-ordinary at the time, in today’s world it’s despicable nonetheless. It’s a very hypocritical suggestion that he had for the King and Queen, and for that, would lose all credit for anything positive that happened to the Natives after his ideas were reinforced.

Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Essay

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett Essay

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett Essay.

SETTING

The Help is set in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi , in Stocketts hometown The Setting is important for the plot of the book because Jackson is still known as one of the most segregated towns in the U.S”

MAIN CHARACTERS

The Help is told from the point of view of 3 different women, namely, AIBILEEN, MINNY, AND SKEETER. AIBILEEN is an African-American maid who cleans houses and cares for the children of white families. MINNY is also an African-American maid and she is Aibileen’s friend.

She has frequently given her honest opinion to her employers with the result of having been fired many times. EUGENIA “SKEETER” PHELAN is the member of a rich white family whose cotton farm employs many African Americans in the fields and in the household. Skeeter has just finished college and comes home with the dream of becoming a writer although her mother rather wants her to get married. At that time, a “good” woman was supposed to get married, have children and be a good housewife and mother but for Skeeter it is her career that is most important.

PLOT SUMMARY

When Skeeter has turned back home she wonders where her former maid and nanny Constantine was. As her family always tries to avoid giving her answers about Constantine’s disappearance she finally finds out the truth, namely, she was fired for being too old and slow. Due to the injustice and cruelty that Constantine and other colored maids in the South have experienced, Skeeter decides to reveal the truth about being a colored maid in Mississippi and to write a book about it. She tries to connect with a group of black maids in order to gain their trust. A task that turns out to be quite difficult and tricky as writing a book about African Americans in the South during the early 1960s breaks social rules and puts all the black maids at risk.

Since the death of her 24-years-ols son Treelore it is Aibileen’ s first job in the Leefolt household. She mainly takes care of their baby Mae Mobley who she always calls baby girl.

Minny’s most recent employer Mrs. Walters is the mother of Hilly Holbrook who is the social leader of the community and head of the Junior League. One day the White population of the community decides to construct segregated bathrooms for the black servants as they think black people carrying diseases.

The decision for segregated bathrooms finally makes Aibileen agreeing on cooperating with Skeeter on her book about the black maids of Jackson and they begin spending their evenings together and build a friendship. Minny also agrees to work with them and they try to get other maids involved but they are all too frightened in the beginning.

One day Hilly’s maid Yule May asks Hilly to loan her 75$ to send her sons to college. When Hilly refuses her request Yule steals a ring. Hilly finds out about that and uses her influence to have Yule sentenced to four years in the state penitentiary. The other black maids are angry about Hilly and the way she treated Yule May so that they decide to tell their individual experiences to Skeeter.

Finally Skeeter’s book gets published anonymously and becomes a national bestseller. Soon, the white women of Jackson begin recognizing themselves in the book’s characters.

The book becomes a powerful force in giving a voice to black maids which causes Jackson’s community to strongly reconsider the system of segregation.

TRAILER A film adaptation of “The Help” was released in 2011. But just as an aside the film does not include all the events and details of the book and should not be considered as 1:1 illustration.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Help takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s during the civil rights era. Aibileen, Minny, and all the other African-American maids at that time took a grave risk in their fight against racial intolerance. By helping Ms. Skeeter write her book about black maids working for white families, all the maids took a chance of losing their job, their house, even their very own lives. The book demonstrates its theme of racial intolerance by using Hilly Holbrook as the enemy, a racist young white woman who is quick to display her distaste in blacks. The continuous struggle between Ms. Hilly and the maids shows that racial intolerance is significant aspect of the book.

This book connects to the cultural identity of America by displaying a fight against racism just like how civil rights activists fought for equality during the 1960s. If the majority of people did not gain the courage to fight against discrimination like the characters in the book were willing to, our society today would still be segregated. The Civil Rights act of 1964 protected the rights of people based on their race, and sex and prohibited racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. This act was a huge step in eliminating racism and discrimination.

DEATH OF MEDGAR EVERS

The imagination of Medgar Evers death is very significant to the novel because it represents how dangerous it was to be African- American during the 1960s. He was a colored man fighting for change, fighting to be equal, but his brutal death terrified many people at that time. It made people believe that fighting for rights, or changing the norm, would ultimately put your life at an extreme risk. Evers death showed Aibileen and Minny how risky writing a book about working for white families actually was, and showed the readers how dangerous the situation could be.

The death of Evers also helps show the differences in the way the black and white communities of Jackson perceive current events. For the black community, Evers’s death is a major historical event. For the white community, it’s not something to even be discussed.

RACIAL INTOLERANCE

While “The Help” contains many topics amongst its pages, nothing is more salient to me than the topic of racial intolerance.

The novel shows that segregation doesn’t just mean that black and white people must live apart. It means that they can only interact in certain situations (mostly in which black people are serving white people in some capacity) and there are strict rules and norms about how they can act toward each other.

Because black people were considered inferior by most whites, and by the law, they were only allowed access to inferior living conditions, products, and services. jobs and educational opportunities for black people were few. Segregation negatively impacts every aspect of the lives of the black characters.

RECOMMENDATION

The help uses many rhetorical devices, but known more than colloquial language. Kathryn Stockett makes sure that each one of her characters sounds real. The reader doesn’t have to infer what it sounds like because it is written that way. Stockett’s use of colloquial language is continuous throughout the novel and varies as the characters change, for every few characters have distinct dialects or accents.

“I look deep into her rich brown eyes and she look into mine. Law, she got old-soul eyes, like she done lived a thousand years. And I swear I see, down inside, the woman she gone grow up to be… and then she say it, just like I need her to. ‘You is kind,’ she say, “you is smart. You is important.’

‘Oh Law.’ I hug her hot little body to me. I feel like she done just given me a gift. ‘Thank you, Baby Girl.’” (Stockett 520 -521)

We see in this excerpt that “you is kind” should actually be “you are kind”, but that is not the way Stockett wanted her character to speak. I liked that very much, because it made the characters appear even more real and I could imagine them better while reading the book. Moreover, the topic of the book was very interesting and although the book has 450 pages, it was quickly readable because it was an exciting book. I would really recommend it to everyone, because this book is a must-read I think.

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett Essay

The Negro Evolves Essay

The Negro Evolves Essay.

Slavery by definition is the captivity and states of bondage the Negros were placed in daily. This was a long and hard battle black people fought in order to achieve a greater position in life. As the struggle continued, the drive for social acceptance, equality and a desire to contribute their culture to be remembered throughout history became the goal of many. The Negro race has greatly evolved from the struggle of inequality to the desire for his/her freedom and contributions to the world.

Two authors take a look at the progress Negros have made since their beginning, and they evaluate their contributions to history. Arthur A. Scholmburg shows the Negro’s strive for a place in history in “The Negro Digs up His Past”, while Elise Johnson McDougald deals with the advancement of the Negro woman during her struggle in “The Task of Negro Womanhood”. It is seen in both these authors’ works what efforts the Negro took toward the goal of prosperity and the hope of securing their history so it can still be read today.

It is important to look at the Negro’s past in order to understand their progress. In “The Negro Digs Up His Past”, Schomburg describes the Negro as having had, ” a definite desire and determination to have a history, [one that was] well documented” (Schomburg 61). Because of this desire, the Negro became, “a pioneer in the struggle for his own freedom and advancement” (Schomberg 62). According to Schomberg this was done in three ways. The first was that the Negro was an active collaborator, taking ideas and combining them together in order to achieve a goal. By having a creative method to achieve his goals the Negro could push toward prospering in different areas such as business, family and culture. The second was that the Negro held the virtue of being exceptional, which meant striving to do his best. Pursuing his best was his hope to reach new levels that were feared the Negro race could not be considered exceptional in and by doing so prove his equalization to the white race.

The last was dealing with group achievement. The Negro hoped to only prosper individually, but to show the advancement of the race through group achievements. A desire to be remembered in history convinced the Negro to put forth effort in projects regarding their culture. With the goal of maintain and preserving culture the Negro, “slowly and with difficulty” (Schomberg 61) began to advance. Institutions such as the American Negro Academy were founded, eventually followed by research facilities like The Negro Society for Historical Research. Places like these contained, “the world of books and documents dealing with the Negro” (Schomberg 65).

A place where the Negro could keep items describing his past ensured a preservation of Negro history. By doing this the Negro culture could one day be studied. If he could look at his past he can set goals for his future and learn from his mistakes. He can be proud of his advancements and therefore increase racial pride. Schomberg ended his story with the idea that giving the Negro a past will instill pride and self- respect. A man once, “without history because he had been considered a man without a worthy culture” (Schomberg 66) now creates an opposite view on his culture. His strive for prosperity has rewarded him with advancement and has made his culture be remembered.

If you place emphasis on the Negro woman you can clearly see her desire to advance and her struggles as she deals with change. The first struggle the Negro women faces, which Elise McDougald states in her essay “The Task of Negro Womanhood”, is her desire to overcome ‘the grotesque Aunt Jemimas of the street- car advertisements” (McDougald 69). Such a stereo type of a woman who is nothing but a housewife is what drives the Negro woman to prove her intelligence and capabilities through her accomplishments. McDougald stresses that a, “challenge to young Negro womanhood is to clearly see this trend and grasp the proffered comradeship with sincerity” (McDougald 74).Her hope is for the black woman to prosper in the workplace. To set out with goals of achieving positions never before granted to a black woman and in doing so prove that she is strong, determined and capable. She is as a good as any white woman in the workforce and even able to obtain jobs once granted to only males. While some Negro women were housewives, it is the two larger groups that dominate the sex and gave rise to the Negro woman’s recognition.

The first of the two groups is the women with occupations in business and trade. McDougald presents the idea that the Negro women once, “[began] as a uniformed maid in the shoe department of one of the largest shoe stores, pull[ed] herself up to the position of ‘head of stock’ “(McDougald 71). This is what the Negro woman set out to achieve and has prospered with such a huge accomplishment. A Negro woman advancing to a higher paying position defines her equalization to a male that once would hold a position of that nature. The entire story focuses on a woman who is,” dependent largely upon herself and her own race for work”(McDougald ). The second group consists of women in particular professions. Negro women have slowly become part of specialty professions such as nursing, legal, dental and medical profession. Once again women are acquiring jobs that were once only available to a man. Negro woman are quick to prove they are capable and willing to learn.

In addition, proving her success in the business world and becoming comfortable in rising to new positions will only lead to greater success and prosperity. She is beginning to gain respect and notoriety for her efforts from her race and the world watching her. An optimistic attitude accounts for some of the compelling titles and associations Negro women have created for themselves, such as the Utility Club, Utopias Neighborhood, Debutantes’ League and Sempre Fidelius. These titles and associations provide the Negro woman with her own identity. She is able to take ideas and create what she wants out of them. The Negro women has prospered in the sense that she has achieved her goal of success in business with her various job positions and she has achieved her goal of culture by creating a motivation for other women with that idea that woman are strong and independent. The Negro woman has overcome the stereotype of a helpless housewife into a dominating professional.

Both authors clearly show that it was the Negro’s desire to make history and to evolve from the day where accomplishing their goals seemed inaccessible to the day when they are proud of their accomplishments. Rising in the workforce, being an active collaborator, creating associations pertinent to only to Negro history and showing an independent and determined culture have allowed the Negro race to close the gaps of segregation and prove they are capable individuals.

They have a culture that is interesting and shows people today that even though you may have once been strongly discriminated against and culture labeled not valuable with determinism and goal of prosperity you can overcome inequality and increase racial pride. We can thank them for their perseverance which allowed them to have their history recorded. Without that information we may never had fully understood what made them struggle so hard and how they overcame their obstacles in order to gain prosperity.

The Negro Evolves Essay