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Give an example of racial discrimination/segration in The Help that the white women...

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rngoal | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 9, 2012 at 5:37 AM via web

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Give an example of racial discrimination/segration in The Help that the white women diplayed towards their maids.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 9, 2012 at 6:41 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the clear examples of discrimination and segregation that are presented to the reader is the whole incident of Aibileen having to use a special outside restroom built just for black people. That this toilet needs to be built in the first place is certainly one example of discrimination, but clear racism is shown when Miss Leefold realises that Mae Mobley is being taken to Aibileen's toilet to train her to not use her nappies any more. Note what Miss Leefolt says to her daughter when she realises this:

I did not raise you to use the coloured bathroom! ... This is dirty out here, Mae Mobley. You'll catch diseases! No no no!

Mae Mobley is actually smacked repeatedly for using Aibileen's bathroom. This is a major example of discrimination and racism in the book, as it shows how the white ladies still believed that blacks like Aibileen were fundamentally "dirty," and that there was danger of being "infected" by them.

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