Aibileen is a black maid working in Mrs. Leefolt's home. She has been a maid since age fourteen. She has raised many white women's children as if they were her own. She is very loving. Aibileen is the most sympathetic character in the novel. Though she has suffered the early death of her only son, Treelore, she is still able to love both white and black people.
Minnie is a black maid who has worked as a maid all her life. She has a reputation of having a big mouth, but also being a superb cook. Her cakes and pies are well known. She is a very strong woman. Her opinions and inability to suppress them, have gotten her fired from several jobs. Minnie tells it like it is. While she is a strong person, she also suffers from low self-esteem; and her husband beats her regularly.
Skeeter is a twenty-four-year-old college graduate, who was raised by a black maid, Constantine. Skeeter is college educated and, after having returned to her home town, realizes that she is very different from the other women she grew up with as a child. She had the idea to write the book from observing the relationships between black maids and their white employers all her life. Since she was raised by a black maid with whom she identified, she does not see a difference between herself and the black maids. She and her mother never got a long. She perceives herself as different than the other white women in her social group in Jackson. She feels like an outcast.
Constantine was the black maid who raised Skeeter. She is presented in the novel only in the past, through the eyes of other characters. However, her presence is very apparent in the minds of the characters. She had a white baby and moved out of Jackson unexpectedly when Skeeter was in college. Not until the end of the novel does the reader learn that she was actually fired by Skeeter's mother...
(The entire section is 590 words.)