Imagine being denied your civil rights? The civil rights movement in the 1960s reached heights. African Americans had experienced all aspects of discrimination in their lives. They were no longer slaves but defiantly not equal citizens. We can see in this time of racism in the southern America through the film the help. The help directed by Tate Taylor the characters Hilly, Skeeter, Celia and Charlotte all show us their different views of racism living in the southern Mississippi Jackson. Techniques such as dialogue, camera angles, costuming and lighting all show this.
The civil rights was at the forefronts of people’s minds with the African Americans and whites being fully separated most of the southerners agreed with this and agreed with the Jim Crow laws in place. Segregation was an attempt by the white southerners to separate the African Americans and white race in all parts of life and to achieve supremacy over blacks. They specified certain places for “whites only” and then “colored” rooms. African Americans had separate schools, restaurants, parks, transportation and bathrooms. In the film the help we see that there is a lot of separation between the African Americans and whites.
An example of an extremely racist character is Hilly Holbrook she is a very racist, determined, selfish and vain character who only cares about her social status and keeping the whites and African Americans apart. Hilly is trying to create a white supremacy town. We see a mid-shot with a slight low angle in the film which shows hilly in her bathroom marking her toilet paper. Hilly does this to see if her maid Minny is using her toilet. This is an example of how Hilly wants both races to be separate and shows us how racist she is towards her African maid and other maids in general.
We can see in this shot that the low angle makes Hilly look in power and that shows us the kind of character Hilly is throughout the film. The director’s purpose of Hilly’s character is to show the villan of the story Hilly is a bossy character and always screams at her maid Minny. Hilly thinks she’s always right and doesn’t care who hears her opinion an example of this is when Hilly talks about getting separate bathrooms at the white’s houses for the maids and says it right in front of Aibileen. Hilly continues being racist right in front of her.
Hilly’s story revolves around her attempts to pass a bill called The Home Help Sanitation Initiative. Hilly is determined to ensure all Mississippi families will build outdoor bathrooms for their maids. Hilly seems to believe that the African American people of Mississippi carry diseases which will harm the white people. A quote shows this when she says “Everybody knows they carry different diseases then we do. That’s exactly why I have designed the Home Help Initiative as a disease prevention measure, a bill that requires white homes to have a separate bathroom for the colored help. Hilly is such a racist nasty character in this film and it is shown through the way she tries to separate the colored and whites and chooses to be racist right in front of the maids themselves.
Charlotte Skeeter’s mother is the opposite to her daughter Skeeter. Skeeter is a naive, honest, independent successful women where as her mother is more up spoken, harsh and racist. Charlotte fired her maid Constantine under the influence of the DAK ladies; they made a comment that Constantine was too old and that something needed to be done about that and therefore she fired her maid in of them so they got what they wanted.
This exposes the depths of charlottes racial prejudice. Her racial prejudice gets extreme after firing her maid who raised her daughter Skeeter and we could see the love that Charlotte and her family had for Constantine she wouldn’t have fired her if those ladies hadn’t been there. This shows how the influence on others can become a part of the way you think and make you be someone you are not. We see at the end of the film she begins to realize and see that things aren’t right in her community.
We see this when she stands up for Skeeter to Hilly There are characters in this film that do not separate the African Americans and themselves. They treat everyone equal and see how they deserve to be treated the same and fairly. We have Celia Foote a character who hires Minny and treats her like she should be. When she hires Minny she becomes very happy and loves having Minny around and Minny then becomes a mother figure to her. Shows her how to cook and clean and helps through many hard times she faces.
The rules are that the whites and African Americans must be separate Celia rebels against this and shows she is against the segregation laws. When Minny is eating her lunch Celia insists with sitting with her even when Minny tells her that it’s not okay. Celia will not let this segregation get in the way and this shows how show is an anti-segregation character compared to hilly who is very racist and for the coloured and whites to be separated. Near the end of the film we see Celia cook a meal for Minny after Minny has shown her how to cook and teaches her heaps.
Celia does this to thank Minny for everything she has done. This shows us how Celia and Minny have a strong friendship even though they are a different race they haven’t let this affect them. Celia tells Minny “you have a job for the rest of your life” this shows us how Celia feels about Minny and shows us once again how she is against any segregation and disagrees strongly on it. Celia rebelling against the laws when she makes the meal for Minny, it is against the law to make a meal for a maid or do something respectful for them.