What are five major events that happened in The Help, by Kathryn Stockett? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel The Help has three unique female narrators who all have a story to tell. Deciding which five events to include as an answer to your question was very difficult because each of the women have significant, life-changing things that happen in their lives. The events I have chosen represent significant moments in the overall story and are in no particular order.

One major event in the novel is when Aibileen finally agrees to tell her story. This is so significant, for it represents a willingness to speak the truth despite her fear. It is a slow process for Aibileen to build up trust with Skeeter, but the maid is eventually convinced that the result will be worth the risk. Aibileen is also instrumental in convincing Minnie to tell her story to Skeeter; once Minnie talks, the other maids begin lining up to talk, as well.  If Aibileen, and of course the others, are not brave enough to speak to Skeeter, there is no story.

Another significant moment is when Hilly humiliates Skeeter in front of the League. This one humiliating public act changes how all the white women in town treat Skeeter and sets up a kind of enmity between them which requires an over-the-top repayment: toilets all over Hilly's lawn and a book which cryptically reveals that Hilly once ate human feces--and loved it.

Celia's hiring of Minnie is another significant event in the novel, as it allows Minnie to discover that a white woman and a black woman can maintain a successful maid/employer relationship and even friendship. Celia does not see color even when she should, and the relationship she and Minnie develop is a beautiful foil to what is happening in so many other homes in town. They love and respect one another, something which is not the norm here; they also share a disdain for Hilly which brings them both great pleasure.

Skeeter has always loved Constantine, the maid her family had when she was young. When she discovers the truth--that her mother sent Constantine away and now Constantine is dead--Skeeter is devastated. She recalls this moment from her childhood:

I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would've been Constantine's voice singing. If singing was a color, it would've been the color of that chocolate.

Skeeter's love for the black maid of her childhood is what caused her to think about race and class much differently than most other white people in town. Without that, the book would never have happened.

The last major event shall only be named what Minnie has called it: "The Terrible Awful." This deed truly indicates the depths of the chasm between the white mistresses and their black maids. Minnie is powerless to defend herself, so she does this. It is, as Minnie says, terrible and awful, but it is not surprising.

These five events are some of the major occurrences in this novel. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team