Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Image Study: Medgar Evers

“‘Medgar Evers is dead.’
            I swallow back a mouthful a spit and stare at Minny’s wall paint that’s gone yellow with bacon grease, baby hands, Leroy’s Pall Malls. No pictures or calendars on Minny’s walls. I’m trying not to think. I don’t want a think about a colored man dying. It’ll make me remember Treelore.
            Minny’s hands is in fists. She gritting her teeth. ‘Shot him in front a his children, Aibileen…Radio say his family run out the house when they heard the shots. Say he bloody, stumbling round, all the kids with blood all over em…’” (Stockett 229-230)

            This imagery of Medgar Evers death is very significant to the novel because it represents how dangerous it was to be African- American during the 1960s. Medgar Evers was looked up to in Jackson, Mississippi, especially since he was highly regarded in the NAACP. 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. Even though the Help had previously discussed the danger of writing a book, it was brought to the surface with the death of Medgar Evers.

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