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The first chapter of the climax is the twenty-fifth chapter of the novel - the Benefit chapter. In this chapter, the conflicts between Hilly and her foes Celia, Minny, and Skeeter are all clearly present. In the following chapter, Celia's conflict with Hilly is resolved and Celia finds her place in Jackson.
In Chapters 27-29, the book project is nearing publication and the rising action reaches its climax. Skeeter breaks permanently with Stuart.
In Chapter 29, the book project is published. The theme of community action is articulated in the scene where Aibileen is presented with a copy of the book, given as a gift from the community.
She cannot autograph their books, of course, so all of them have autographed one for her—people in her church and other churches as well.
The following few chapters represent the proper climax of the novel with the tensions of the remaining conflicts peaking.
The final three chapters are very important to the novel. They each articulate the novel's ultimate themes of friendship, place, and humanity
- Chapter 32 - Minnie decides to leave her husband.
- Chapter 33 - Hilly and Skeeter have a final confrontation. Their friendship is now clearly over, but Hilly has no more power to damage Skeeter's life or relationships. The sight of Skeeter's mother (being so ill) leads Hilly to drop her plan to "tell on" Skeeter, demonstrating the idea that even Hilly has a line she will not cross. Also in this chapter, Skeeter discovers Lou Anne's true feelings about Louvenia, which are strongly positive, even reverent. There are fewer differences between Skeeter and certain people of her community than she realized initially.
- Chapter 34 - In this chapter, Aibileen is fired and she prepares to begin her life anew with the success of the book to propel her on. The book, as proven by her termination with the Leefolt's, has done some good in the community but not changed everything, nor everyone. For Aibileen, however, the book brings about a new start.
Perhaps she is not too old to start over. The thought makes her think, laugh, and cry, because last night she thought she was finished with new things.
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