Our Free Sample Essay On Gender, Class, and Racial Discrimination in ‘The Help’ Movie

The Help is a 2011 thought-infuriating American drama movie directed by Tate Tylor. This film is an adaptation from a novel named The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett’s in 2009. Apparently, The Help’s subject is capricious though safe. The movie centers around a young white lady, Eugenia Skeeter, who was an aspiring to be a journalist (Dargis). The scene is centered on how she relates with two black maids, named Minny Jackson and Aibileen Clark way back in the times of Jim Crow days. This film attempts to expose racial discrimination that the maids face while working for the whites (Dargis). What is captivating in this movie is the blatant depiction of strata of gender, race, and social class. Therefore, the paper is an in-depth examination of the gender, races and social class themes depicted in The Help movie.

With regards to The Help movie, gender inequality, race, and class in the 1960’s were outrageous and rooted in the South. Racial discrimination is paramount in the movie as it is evident that the civil war had failed to eradicate the racial discrimination that was practiced in the South. Racial prejudice was socially admitted whereby the white and blacks were segregated in the South (Stockett,  2). Extreme racial prejudice is portrayed in the instance of Plessy versus Ferguson at the US topmost judicial stage that is the Supreme Court that made a ruling to authorize the separation though same treatment of all races whereby they were to attend separated schools, ride on different buses, use different bathrooms, go to different movie theaters and so on (Stockett, 14). This is evident in the movie when Minny uses her white employer’s bathroom. Moreover, in the scene, there is a signage that points to the direction of the black’s bathroom separate from those of the whites. Albeit the whites and blacks disregarded the alienated lives they were to live at that time in the South. The movie narrates a story of an event that occurred in the 1960’s when racial prejudice was gradually fading away (Dargis). Skeeter, one of the social activists in the film had begun to actively advocate helping in dismantling any kind of racial obstacles that had existed in the South for many years.

The social class disparity is depicted in the movie as well. This concern of social class inequality in the South territory is meticulously attributed to racial discrimination because the majority of the black living in the South lacked social advantage such as education and economic stability against their white counterparts. In the early 1960’s, the blacks were rendered to enroll in manual jobs peanuts payout (Stockett,16). For instance, regardless of the middle-class being like the others, they had black help, domestic maids who did more than house chores. Therefore, white women did not have to work. More of this is depicted in the movie when Skeeter asks Aibileen how the feeling is like taking care of a white child yet her own child is being taken care of by someone else and she responds saying that taking care of white babies is her job as she is good in taking care of them (Stockett, 18). Discrimination based on class is significantly depicted in the movie. The middle-class women oppressed and discriminated against the poor black maid. This is evident in the movie where a maid asked her white employers if they could lend her money for her to be able to send her boys to college (Stockett, 23). Instead of taking a humanitarian role by lending her the money, they denied her and the maid continues doing her work after her request being nastily squashed. The blacks faced with social class discrimination which rendered them unable to secure top social class jobs such as being a lawyer, engineer, doctor or even any other top educated professions since the blacks were denied to attend any of the whites’ universities or at least graduate schools at all (Stockett, 29). This, however, resulted in both black men and women securing employment to serve the white upper and some middle class as drivers, cleaners, maids, janitors or even butlers. The kind of life of the black Americans depicted in the movie was definitely difficult and miserable.

            Gender inequality is also depicted in the movie. The concern regarding gender inequality tends to slightly relate to racial prejudice and class disparity. This is evident in scene whereby Skeeter was on a date and the man asked her what her occupation is then rushes to conclude by saying that probably it’s housekeeping before she even gets the opportunity to answer him (Dargis). The man later asserts that professional husband seeking is what all the ladies major in. Skeeter was angered by these gender-based insults that she walked away (Dargis). Another scene in the movie depicts Celia where she told Minny that she should not work on some days since she does not want her husband to notice that has not been doing the house chores and cooking all by herself (Dargis). Celia as well is portrayed to break into tears when she lost her baby and kept expressing her great concern that she was worried that her husband might no longer want to get along with her suppose she fails to give birth to another child for him.

            In essence, ‘The help’ movie is a great movie that tactfully depicted the gender, race and class themes effectively. These themes have been well portrayed through the narration of how life was in the 1960’s during Jim Crow days. With regards to the race theme, it is evident that blacks were discriminated against and oppressed. Segregation of the white and blacks contributed a lot to racial prejudice that is the root cause of the black sufferance since they could not even secure professional jobs because they were not permitted to attend white universities or schools. This racial segregation is what rendered the blacks to be poor and dependent on the wealthy whites for manual employment. According to the class theme, class well depicted showing a class disparity among the rich whites, middle-class whites, and the poor African Americans. The African Americans are undermined and oppressed because they are poor like the way Aibileen is treated with less care due to her social class of being poor. The theme on gender inequality has been well brought out in the movie showing that women are undermined to be simple housekeepers and suggesting that women are not offered employment in a professional position of worst could be they are not granted opportunity for education. Women are depicted to be dependent on men and their role being just to do house chores and taking care of children. All in all, the movie is creative and catchy. The movie has exploited these themes effectively and has managed to bring out the taste and message that it intended to portray.