Comment on the narrative structure of The Help.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The narrative structure of this excellent and poignantly moving novel is based around the first person account of three women who are the principal protagonists in the story. Skeeter is the one white woman out of the three characters who works with two black women working as maids, Aibileen and Minnie, to capture the narrative of their experiences over the years as black women working for white families as maids. The first person narrative from each of these characters greatly endears them to us as readers, as they discuss their feelings and motives. Included in their accounts, of course, are a number of flashbacks as the various characters remember events that have a bearing on the present. One example of this would be Skeeter's memories of her maid when she was a child and her attempts to establish what happened to her and why she vanished so abruptly. Another would be the flashback that Aibileen has as she remembers the circumstances surrounding her son's tragic accident. The way in which the three accounts are woven together, and at times each of the characters comment on the other two, adds real depth and profundity to this excellent novel.