Some questions that arise from this text which seem worth investigating might be:
- What lessons has Skeeter really learned over the course of the action in the novel? How is her new knowledge demonstrated? How do her old biases remain intact?
- Is Skeeter a brave character? She takes certain risks in writing the book with Aibileen and Minny, but her risks are largely social, not like the life-threatening risk that Aibileen and Minny take in their participation in the book project.
- Is the book project, for Skeeter, an entirely morally defensible project? She keeps the book a secret from her parents, which says something, and the book promises extreme embarassment to her (former) best friend Hilly. There may be other signs also that the book project is not "all good", morally speaking.
Well, now that the film has been released, another good topic would be to compare and contrast the book and the movie. Is one more (or less) successful than the other? Did the film do justice to the book? Were the characters in the film different than you had imagined them from reading the book? What in the book was left out of the film? Was anything new added to the film? These are the kinds of questions you want to ask.
For me, one of the easiest ways to write create a thesis statement for an argumentative paper is to pose several open ended questions that could have one of two (or more) possible answers. This book presents several controversial issues, themes, and conflicts. Using one of more of these avenues, try creating a few questions that could guide you into a thesis statement. Choose something that interests you, something you feel you could choose a side on and answer strongly, or simply something that has plenty of textual evidence to use as support.
Here are a few to get you started (pieced together from several bookclub discussion questions):
- Considering the lead female roles in the story, is it possible to be a good mother and yet a deeply flawed person?
- How much is a person's character shaped by the times and the community in which she lives?
- Is Minny justified in her distrust in white people?
- Did writing the book resolve anything in the lives of the maids? If so, what?
More questions can be found at: http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/423-the-help-stockett?start=3