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Exploring Race Class and Gender in The Help: A Powerful Movie Analysis

The Help: A Synopsis

If you are looking for a movie that explores themes of race, class, and gender in the southern United States of the 1960s, then look no further than The Help.

Released in 2011, the movie is based on the novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, and is directed by Tate Taylor.

Set in Jackson, Mississippi, The Help follows the lives of three women: Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny. Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, is an aspiring writer who comes up with the idea of writing a book from the perspective of the African American maids who work in the homes of white families in the town.

Aibileen, played by Viola Davis, is a maid who has raised 17 white children, but has never been able to share her own story. Minny, played by Octavia Spencer, is a maid who has a reputation for being difficult and confrontational with her white employers.

As Skeeter interviews the maids for her book, she learns about the hardships they face on a daily basis. They are paid low wages, have no job security, and are treated with little respect by their employers.

However, they also provide a unique perspective into the lives of the white families they work for, including their relationships, marriages, and children. The Help also explores the relationship between the white women in the town, who are divided by class and social status.

Hilly Holbrook, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is the leader of the town’s social elite. She is also deeply racist and tries to enforce a policy of segregation in the town’s public spaces.

Skeeter’s own mother, Charlotte, played by Allison Janney, is part of this group, but finds herself unable to fully support Hilly’s views. The movie builds to a climax when Minny is fired by Hilly, and decides to take revenge by baking a pie laced with her own excrement and delivering it to Hilly’s house.

This results in Minny being unable to find work in the town, and having to leave with her family. Overall, The Help is a powerful movie that explores issues of race, class, and gender in a compelling and emotional way.

It features strong performances by its cast, including breakout roles for Davis and Spencer, who both won Academy Awards for their performances. If you are looking for a movie that will make you think and feel, then The Help is definitely worth watching.

The Help: A Detailed Plot

The Help is a heart-warming movie that provides a glimpse into the challenges faced by African American maids in the 1960s in the southern United States. The story revolves around Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny, who come from different backgrounds but are united by their desire to bring about change in their community.

Skeeter, a recent college graduate with aspirations of becoming a writer, returns home to Jackson, Mississippi, and is appalled by the racial discrimination that is prevalent in her town. She is particularly moved by the hardships faced by the African American maids who work in the white households in her town.

These women are paid meager wages, treated with disrespect, and are constantly in fear of losing their jobs. Skeeter decides to write a book that documents the stories of these women, and approaches Aibileen, who has worked in many households and has a wealth of experience to share.

At first, Aibileen is hesitant to participate, as she fears for her safety and that of her family. However, she eventually agrees, as she realizes the importance of having her story heard.

Minny, on the other hand, is a tough and outspoken maid who has been fired by multiple households due to her confrontational nature. Skeeter approaches her as well, but Minny is initially skeptical of Skeeter’s intentions.

However, she is ultimately convinced to participate, as she believes that her story will have the power to make a change. As the three women work on the book, they face numerous challenges and setbacks.

They are constantly at risk of being exposed and face the wrath of the white community. However, their determination and grit help them overcome these obstacles.

They build a strong bond with each other, united by their shared experiences and goal. The three women often meet in secret at Aibileen’s house to work on the book, making sure that they are not caught.

They interview other maids and gather their stories, despite the risks involved. There are some touching moments in these scenes, as the women share their experiences and realize that they are not alone.

The book, titled “The Help,” is eventually published, and it creates a stir in the town. The white community is outraged and threatened by this powerful testimony of the African American maids.

Many of the maids who participated in the book face severe consequences, from losing their jobs to being ostracized by their community. However, the book also has a positive impact, as it brings about change in the way the maids are viewed and treated.

The white community begins to see them as humans with their own stories and struggles, rather than mere servants. This change in perception is exemplified by Skeeter’s own mother, who is initially defensive and dismissive of the book but ultimately comes to empathize and respect the maids.

In conclusion, The Help is a movie that effectively captures the struggles and experiences of African American maids in the 1960s in the South. It is both a heart-warming and heart-breaking story, with moments of triumph and tragedy.

The strong performances by the cast and the powerful storyline make it a movie that is bound to leave a lasting impact on its viewers. The Help is a poignant reminder of the need for compassion, empathy, and understanding in a world that is often divided by race, class, and gender.

The Help: A Look into Production

The Help is a captivating and powerful movie that features a strong storyline and a talented cast. However, making a movie is a complex process that requires a great deal of work, skill, and attention to detail.

Here, we take a look behind the scenes and explore some of the key aspects of the production of The Help.


One of the most important aspects of any movie is the cast. In The Help, director Tate Taylor had the challenging task of finding actors who could convincingly portray the characters in the book.

The cast includes several well-known actors, such as Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, and Octavia Spencer. One of the key challenges that the casting team faced was finding actors who could effectively navigate the cultural nuances and the complexities of the characters.

Many of the actors had to undertake extensive research and training to fully embody their roles. Viola Davis, who played Aibileen, reportedly spent time with real-life maids to better understand their experiences and perspectives.

Costumes and Sets

The costumes and sets in The Help were also a critical element of the movie. The movie is set in the 1960s, and the production team had to ensure that the costumes and sets accurately reflected the time period.

The team had to pay attention to details such as the type of fabrics used, the hairstyles, and the makeup. To create an authentic look for the characters, the costume designer, Sharen Davis, scavenged vintage clothing stores and sourced fabrics that were true to the 1960s.

The team also paid close attention to the colors and patterns used in the costumes. For example, Aibileen’s costumes are predominantly blue, which is meant to symbolize her calm and steadfast nature.

The sets in the movie were also carefully designed to evoke the time period and the location. The production team scouted locations in Mississippi to find authentic settings for the movie.

The houses where the maids worked were designed to accurately reflect the settings described in the book, while the streets and parks were recreated to bring the 1960s to life.


Filming a movie is a complex and time-consuming process that requires precision and coordination. The Help was filmed largely on location in Mississippi, and the team had to deal with a range of challenges, from the heat and humidity to the unpredictable weather.

To create a cohesive look for the movie, the director of photography, Stephen Goldblatt, used a specific color palette that incorporated muted colors and pastels. This helped to create a dreamy, almost nostalgic look for the film.

Another key aspect of the filming process was the use of music. The movie features a range of iconic songs from the 1960s, which help to set the tone and evoke the era.

The music was carefully selected to fit the mood of each scene and to convey the emotions of the characters.


After filming was complete, the movie entered the post-production phase, where the recorded footage was edited and pieced together to create the final product. This process involves many steps, including editing, sound design, and visual effects.

One of the significant challenges during post-production was ensuring that the movie maintained its emotional impact while still conveying its message in a clear and concise manner. The team had to make many creative decisions to balance these two goals.

In conclusion, The Help was a complex and demanding production that involved many different creative roles and departments. The team worked hard to ensure that the movie told its story in a clear and compelling way while also being true to the time period and the characters depicted in the book.

The result is a powerful movie that continues to resonate with audiences today. The Help: The

Release and


The Help is a movie that explores the issues of race and class in America’s deep south in the 1960s.

After an extensive production process, the movie was finally released in 2011 to critical acclaim and commercial success. Here, we take a look at the movie’s release and reception.


The Help was released on August 10, 2011, in the United States, and later expanded to other countries. The movie was highly anticipated, with fans of the book keen to see how it would be adapted to the screen.

The studio’s marketing campaign focused on the themes of the movie while highlighting the performances of the talented cast and the inspirational story. Upon its release, The Help performed exceptionally well at the box office.

It was a commercial success, grossing over $216 million worldwide against a budget of $25 million. In the United States alone, the movie grossed over $169 million, making it one of the highest-grossing movies of the year.


The reception to The Help was overwhelmingly positive, with critics and audiences alike praising the movie for its emotional depth, strong performances, and powerful storytelling. The movie was nominated for multiple awards, including four Academy Awards and three Golden Globe awards.

One of the most significant aspects of the reception was the response from the African American community. The movie explored the experiences of African American maids in the 1960s, and many felt that it portrayed their stories with respect and sensitivity.

The portrayal of the relationships between the maids and their white employers was particularly praised for its nuance and complexity. However, the movie was not without its controversies, with many critics arguing that it presented a narrow and sanitized portrayal of the civil rights movement.

There were also concerns that the movie perpetuated a “white savior” narrative, where white characters are seen to be the heroes of the narrative. These criticisms were particularly notable as the movie was released at a time when discussions around race and diversity in Hollywood were gaining attention.

Despite these criticisms, The Help remains a significant cultural touchstone. It is a movie that explores complex themes and emotions, while highlighting the importance of the stories that have been silenced and overlooked throughout history.

The movie’s success demonstrates the power of storytelling and the importance of representation in the media.


The Help is a movie that was released to critical and commercial success. It explores themes of race, class, and gender in the 1960s deep south, while highlighting the importance of representation and storytelling.

Although the movie has faced some criticisms, its impact on popular culture continues to resonate today. The Help is a reminder of the power of empathy, compassion, and understanding, and stands as a testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

The Help: The Soundtrack

The Help is a powerful and moving movie that tells the stories of African American maids in the south in the 1960s. It received critical acclaim when it premiered in 2011, and was hailed as a defining moment in contemporary cinema.

One of the many reasons for the movie’s success is the memorable and evocative soundtrack that accompanied the storyline. The music for The Help was composed by Thomas Newman, who is known for his work on movies such as American Beauty, The Shawshank Redemption, and Finding Nemo.

He was chosen for the project because of his ability to create music that is both emotional and atmospheric, qualities that are well-suited to the themes and setting of The Help. The soundtrack features a range of original compositions by Newman, interspersed with popular songs from the 1960s.

These songs were chosen for their ability to capture the mood and spirit of the era, as well as for their relevance to the story being told. One of the most notable songs in the movie is “The Living Proof,” which was written by Mary J.

Blige and Thomas Newman. The song serves as the movie’s anthem, with its uplifting melody and powerful lyrics, which speak to the perseverance and resilience of the characters.

The song reflects the dignity of the maids, who overcame immense obstacles to fight for their rights and equality. The movie also features a number of classic songs from the 1960s, including “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers.

These songs are well-known and beloved, and their inclusion in the soundtrack helps to evoke the spirit of the civil rights movement. The instrumental pieces composed by Newman are equally memorable, and feature a range of different moods and styles.

Pieces such as “Them Fools” and “Upside-Down World” are evocative, with their wistful melodies and ambient textures. The music perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the movie, reflecting its emotional intensity, while also evoking elements of time and place.

The music in The Help is a powerful accompaniment to the movie’s strong storyline, enhancing the emotions and messages conveyed through the characters and the themes. It serves as a reflection of the era, while also providing a contemporary context for the story being told.

It is a reminder of the role that music plays in shaping our lives and memories, and its importance as a touchstone for the experiences and emotions that we share. In conclusion, the soundtrack for The Help is a masterpiece of composition and curation, featuring a range of original pieces and classic songs from the 1960s.

Its emotional depth and atmospheric qualities make the music an integral element of the movie, and it remains a beloved and iconic soundtrack today. The music serves as a testament to the power of storytelling and the significance of music in our culture, and is a fitting accompaniment to a movie that explores many of the same themes.

In conclusion, The Help is a powerful movie that explores the themes of race, class, and gender in the 1960s in the South. The movie’s production and release were a testament to the power of storytelling and representation, and its reception demonstrated the impact that movies can have on popular culture.

The soundtrack also served as an essential element of the movie, enhancing the emotional depth and atmosphere of the narrative. Overall, The Help is a reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and understanding, and its relevance continues to resonate today.


1. What is The Help movie about?

The Help is a movie that explores the experiences of African American maids in the 1960s in the South, as well as the complex relationships they have with their white employers. 2.

Who directed The Help? The Help was directed by Tate Taylor.

3. Who is in the cast of The Help?

The cast of The Help includes Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, and Octavia Spencer, among others. 4.

What was the reception to The Help? The Help was received positively, although it also faced some criticisms about its portrayal of the civil rights movement.

5. Who composed the soundtrack for The Help?

The soundtrack for The Help was composed by Thomas Newman, who is known for his work on many other movies.

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