Character Analysis In Kathryn Stockett's The Help

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Pages: 3

In “The Help”, Kathryn Stockett addresses three key issues using the main antagonist, Hilly Holbrook, as a mode of representation. Firstly, her attitude towards the maids and the African American community reveals her blatant racism and discrimination. Secondly, her attitude towards her old friend and recent enemy, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, highlights the traitorous qualities in Hilly as she continues to harass and isolate Skeeter throughout the book. Lastly, her attitude towards Celia Foote and the African American community exemplify the classism Hilly utilizes. In the 1960’s, racism was a prevalent theme present in the minds of the population in the United States. “The Help”, sets the story in Jackson, Mississippi, a city that heavily …show more content…
In the beginning of the book, Skeeter portrays her relationship between Elizabeth, Hilly, and herself as a tense but longstanding friendship as Skeeter mentions the fact that all three of them have been amicable between each other since grade school. At the beginning of the novel, Skeeter initiates the tension by casually suggesting that Hilly should have a bathroom built outside devoted to herself. Hilly responds accordingly by threatening to fire Skeeter from her position as editor of the League. As the story progresses, Skeeter and Hilly slowly grow apart as Skeeter becomes involved with the book regarding maids. Once Hilly discovered that Skeeter is an integrationist, Hilly rapidly distances herself from Skeeter and forces other people to distance themselves from Skeeter. Consequently, Skeeter responds by putting toilets on Hilly’s lawn as retaliation for the forced isolation. This act of revenge from Skeeter serves to permanently isolate her from the Jackson Junior League community as Hilly maliciously starts to spread slander regarding Skeeter. Hilly betrayed Skeeter and sacrificed their friendship in order to prevent association with Skeeter and William so that William has a better chance of securing a political endeavor. In addition, Hilly betrayal served to harm Skeeter for being an