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I need a literary element for The Help by Kathryn Stockett for Chapter 17.

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Well, while literary techniques can be specific to each work of fiction (such as the techniques listed above), literary elements are common to ALL.  Therefore, to answer your question, one would need to look at something like plot, tone, theme, character, etc.  Further, because both chapter 17 and 18 comprise one particular episode, sometimes I will refer to both chapters here.

Two literary elements from chapter 17 that are fairly easy to discuss are plot and character.  In regards to plot, this chapter is part of the rising action.  Skeeter has already begun her book and is simply maneuvering to write it amid other issues in the town.  Chapter 17 contains one such issue, especially regarding Minnie and Celia.  In fact, it is Minnie who narrates the chapter.  Minnie is desperately trying to teach Celia how to fry chicken in this chapter (as part of Celia's attempt to become as good of a cook as Minnie).  Of course, there are always problems in the town, and this is another:  Celia has another miscarriage at the end of the episode.  This is all part of the rising action of the plot.

In regards to character, we learn most about Minnie (as the narrator of this chapter) and Celia.  Celia grew up poor and married rich.  As a result, she doesn't have a lot of the racial issues that many of the white folks do in the town.  Celia happily converses with all races, but she is ostracized from white society because of it.  We can see some of this here while she hangs out with Minnie, learning how to cook fried chicken.  Minnie is a truly compassionate woman.  Not only does she help Celia learn to cook here, but she cleans the large, bloody mess of a miscarriage, while showing compassion for Celia. 

So, as you can see, we learn about the specific rising action of the plot and a bunch about character from chapter 17.

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Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Figurative language is one of the most prominent literary elements in Stockett's novel. The book is fully of sayings, colloquialisms, similes and metaphors.

This chapter is no exception. Here are a few examples: 

  • Euphemism/figure of speech: "...fried up her wits with the hair coloring."  
  • Euphemism/figure of speech: " I have to worry about Miss Hilly coming over here and ratting me out. She'll tell Miss Celia what I done for sure."
  • Simile/colloquialism: "...every time that phone rings, she jumps on it like a dog on a coon." 
  • Simile: "...a heat wave of a hundred degrees moves in and doesn't budge. Its' like a hot water bottle plopped on top of the colored neighborhood..." 

Minny is particularly apt, as a narrator, to use creative comparisons in the form of similes. This tendency is on full display in Chapter 17. 

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