The Help Questions and Answers
by Kathryn Stockett

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How has Aibileen's character changed throughout Kathryn Stockett's The Help?

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Heather Garey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Aiblieen is a frightened woman at the beginning of the novel. She is subservient to the white family she works for, as the cultural norms of the time dictated (the novel takes place in the early 1960s), and she is very reluctant to work with Miss Skeeter on her book project for fear of the ramifications. In chapter seven, when Miss Skeeter first introduces Aibileen to the idea of her book, Aibileen responds with fear:

I look around. We out here in the wide open. Don't she know how dangerous this could be, talking about this while the whole world can see us?

When Skeeter tries to convince her that the interviews would be secret, Aibileen cites the incident of a black boy who was beaten with a tire iron that very morning simply for using a white bathroom. She refuses to even think about the offer at that time.

Aibileen changes her mind after Hilly's bathroom initiative, in which she wanted all maids to have their own bathroom in the houses they worked in so that white families wouldn't be...

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