How does The Help reveal conflicting perspectives amongst the characters?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Stockett's work reveals perspectives of conflict by placing individuals in social conditions where choices must be made, and thus conflicting perspectives are revealed.  Abileen is confronted with a fundamental choice when Skeeter approaches her.  Skeeter is confronted with a basic decision to approach Abileen.  Minnie is faced with an elemental path of direction when she has to confront Hilly.  In the midst of these choices is the social condition of segregation and how individuals must choose to respond to it.  It is here, at the crossroads of choice and social context, where individuals' conflicting perspectives are revealed.  Stockett does an admirable job of revealing these conflicting perspectives in the midst of social challenges.  She also shows that individuals have a choice despite the vast landscape of sociological reality.  It is easy to make individuals atomized, reducing their propensity for conflict and decision making through the intense nature of conflicting perspectives of sociology.  Yet, Stockett is able to show that all people possess some basic level of choice in the most intense of social conditions and through this conflicting perspectives are revealed.  It is through these choices where discourse starts and understanding begins.  Conflict in Stockett's work is seen as a product of sociological reality and the individual's choice within it.


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