Monday, March 5, 2012

The Idea

                This is really how it all starts to unravel. Since Skeeter hasn’t a clue how to clean, she asks her friend, Elizabeth Leefolt, if she can interview Aibileen to help her out with her columns. Reluctantly, Elizabeth comes to say yes, “’Well…I mean, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her work.” (Stockett 91)
The first day Miss Skeeter comes over for the Miss Myrna columns it starts out with simple questions about cleaning; yet Skeeter later starts asking more personal questions, like what Aibileen knows about Constantine. Accidently Aibileen confesses that Constantine was actually fired, she didn’t randomly quit. When it is obvious Aibileen won’t say anymore than that, Miss Skeeter goes home to confront her mother. But her mom gives her not more information than what she just received.
                Miss Skeeter returns to Elizabeth’s house to ask Aibileen more questions. Aibileen feels bad that Skeeter doesn’t know what actually happened with Constantine, but discusses that she just isn’t comfortable talking to her about it. But they eventually get to talking about her son Treelore, and his idea about writing a book about working for a white man in Mississippi. And it is this idea that will inspire Miss Skeeter to pursue the idea of the Help.
                Eventually we move on to Aibileen, who teaches Mae Mobley to use the potty. This learning lesson turns bad when Aibileen teaches Mae how to use it on her colored toilet, and when Aibileen tries to show Miss Leefolt that Mae can use the bathroom in their house she runs to Aibileen’s bathroom and uses it. Furious, Miss Leefolt spanks Mae Mobley and she begins to cry. Aibileen is devastated, believing this is all her fault, not knowing what to do, she holds little Mae as she cries.
By page 120 Miss Skeeter presents Aibileen with the idea she thought of, for colored help to describe how it is to work for white people, raise their children, and clean their houses. But the idea terrifies Aibileen. She knows that being a part of a tell all book is like giving yourself the death penalty. And with that, Aibileen out right says “No” to Miss Skeeter’s proposition.

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