What is the climax of The Help by Kathryn Stockett?
The climax of The Help is the publication of the book Skeeter wrote anonymously with the stories of African-American maids. The book begins to receive a great deal of publicity, and African-American and white people are reading the book in Jackson to figure out if the stories are about their own community (though the African-American community already knows that they are).
The publication of the book gives power to the women who wrote it. For example, Minny tells her husband, Leroy, to stop harassing her (page 406). Skeeter finally is able to diffuse the power that Hilly Holbrook has over the white women in the community. For example, Lou Anne Templeton tells Skeeter that she will never fire her maid, Louvenia, no matter what Hilly says (page 417). Hilly can't exact revenge on Skeeter because Skeeter's book includes the embarrassing anecdote about Hilly's consumption of a pie with feces in it. If Hilly reveals that Skeeter wrote the book, she will also reveal that it was she who ate this pie. Skeeter finally has the power to leave her home and to go to New York to work in publishing, making her long-held dream come true. Aibileen is fired by Mrs. Leefolt, which makes her sad to leave Mae Mobley, but this allows her to start a new life.
The climax of The Help is the publication of the book. Skeeter, Minnie, Aibileen, and the other black maids have worked, written, worried, hidden, and experienced every emotion imaginable as they have labored to perfect the manuscript of the book. Around them, Hilly, Celia, Stuart and the whites of Jackson have continued in the patterns they have always followed, oblivious to the changes taking shape in the world around them.
With the publication and distribution of the finished book, Skeeter and the help have accomplished their mission by recording the stories and presenting them to the reading public. As the reactions from various people come in and the consequences are faced, those involved in putting The Help together have the satisfaction of knowing they have been involved in something much bigger than themselves.