Women have long been an endless resource of inspiration for filmmakers. From that, the image of female slaves who belong to the proletariat always win over many directors to propagate on the widescreen about human civilization. In that case, ‘The Help’ is bright and successful proof. The movie exposes the harmful effect of racism and how people behaviour are under the influence of the unconscious drive.
‘The Help’ is the movie adapted from the book with the same name written by Kathryn Stockett takes place in the Aerica in the early 1960s.
‘The Help’ revolves around the story of three women with different personalities and different fate, but their relationship is very special. Skeeter is a passionate white journalist who wants to write a book to talk about the slavery of black maids in white families. Aibileen and Minny are two living proof of this stereotype and they decide to collaborate with Skeeter in order to expose the dirty truth about the distinct racism that oppressed black community in all aspects of life.
The ultimate goal of the critical race theory is to ‘confront the beliefs and practices that enable racism to persist while also challenging these practices in order to seek liberation from systematic racism’ (Tyson). ‘The Help” exposes the harmful effects of racism by showing the privileges that whites receive and the everyday racism that the black community have to face frequently.
The movie illustrates the massive white privilege through the racial disparities between the life of white and black servants. A detail that represents the unfairness injustice, as well as social scale, is when Aibileen had to raise 17 white kids while her son took care by someone else and end up hit by a lorry by a white. Aibileen is a black maid who always works hard and diligent, her daily life is surrounded by household chores like cleaning, washing, taking care of the children and the elders, etc. She looks after the white kid like treating her own children without any hatred. While white poeple have the advantage to run away from their crime, they also take away the chance for Aibileen to continue being a mother. No white will ever able to endure having a life like her, no white will able to accept the truth that they are serving for the group of people who killed their children. However, there is nothing a black person can do while living in a society where white dominate all aspects of life. They must accept living a low social position and experience white privelege since their master neglect their feelings so as to keep body and soul together. The light skin colour is like the express ticket for white to climb the social ladder, it is always effortless for them to do whatever they want without any barrier. On the flip side, that priviledge will not happen for someone who has a dark skin colour. The two races living on the samw town, but they live in two different society.
In addition, the movie portrays the everyday racism through the unmindful in treatment between people and people. Mississippi- the centre of racial segregation, it is the place where discrimination happens behind the door of any white family with plenty of nonsense rules. When cooking, coloured maids have to use a different spoon; they will have their own utensils, plate, cup and they cannot mix it with their boss; when serving coffee, they have to put it on the table and not use hand to pass it to white master because they do not want to touch the maid (47:55-48:43). These micro-aggression reinforces the everyday racism that black people have to deal with regularly. White people create rules for black to follow and to consolidate the white supremacy that they have been built without having a second thought about the inhumanity in their action. On top of that, because of their dark skin colour, white people assume that ” They carry different diseases than we do”(15:40), so they try to get a disease-preventative bill called “Home Health Sanitation Initiative” so as to have a separate washroom for the help. Besides facing everyday racism, non-whites also face institutionalized racism. The social situation at that moment accepts the racist bill which eventually oppresses the lives of black even more.
Besides from exposing contrary priveledges among black and white, ‘The Help’ also can be examined with Psychoanalytic. According to Gillespie, ‘ The ultimate goal of psychoanalyzing a text is not just to expose the author’s shame, but to illuminate the complexities of humans in general- all to make us better readers of ourselves and of other as well as of literature’
Skin colour is not a thing that anyone decides to have, it is not someone fault for being black or being white, but it is the duties for each person to chose how to live their life. In the community where no one dares to speak up about the oppression, Aibileen and Minny are the two first maids who bravely shares their story to seek racial liberation and Skeeter step out from the abyss of sin.
There never have had any white ever ask the maid about their feeling when working for white families. However, since the appearance of Skeeter, thing changes. She asks Aibileen that question
With the extreme pain and the injustice that the maids have to suffer, Aibileen compels to speak up with the help of Skeeter, denouncing the society, exposing the conflict between master and servant. The bitterness, the abundance, the scorn and the harshness of the white families almost gave the color maids no voice and not to be understood the nature of a human being.
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The Help. (2019, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-help-essay