Monday, April 9, 2012

Themes from American Literature

While the Help contains many themes amongst its pages, nothing sticks out to me more than the theme of racial intolerance. Throughout the book we as readers comprehend the struggle between blacks and whites by reading the struggles that the characters go through; seeing the hardships they must endure being born in a racism society; understanding the sacrifices that must be made in order to obtain the sweetness that equality might hold.
    The Help takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s during the civil rights era. Being a state conquered with racism and segregationist thoughts, it was no better setting to explore the book's theme. 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, their families, even their very own lives. Yet they were all willing to partake in the novel because they knew it was the right thing to do, and they knew that they could not let racial intolerance hold them down. The maids knew that not being able to share the same bathroom because you were a different skin color was wrong. They knew that being thrown in jail for a crime you didn't commit was unjust. And this is how they fought against it.
    The book demonstrates its theme of racial intolerance by using Hilly Holbrook as the antagonist, 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment