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When Minnie begins working for Miss Celia Foote, she is wary of the whole situation. Celia doesn't know the expectations for how a white employer is supposed to relate to her black hired woman; Minnie eventually comes to understand that Celia needs her help in learning how to run a household according to the accepted ways of Jackson.
While Minnie doesn't approve of all that Celia does, she feels sorry for Celia when she understands the isolation in which Celia lives, a result of the differences between her background and that of the other young white women in the town. In spite of herself and her hesitation to believe that anything good can come of helping a white person, Minnie comes to care for Celia, cooperates with her attempts to keep her employment secret from Celia's husband, agrees to keep his awareness of Minnie's work and help a secret from Celia, and helps Celia to understand how important it is that she learn to stand up for herself and her rights to live as she wishes.
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