What are the main points of chapter 19 of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kathryn Stockett's novel The Helpis told by three different narrators: Miss Skeeter Phelan, Aibileen Clark, and Minnie Jackson. Chapter 19 is one of Miss Skeeter's chapters. She is a white woman who has just graduated from college and now finds herself living at home, writing articles about cleaning for the Jackson Journal, and getting serious with her first real boyfriend, Stuart. Most importantly, though, she is secretly writing a book of stories told by the black maids in her town.

In this chapter, Stuart scandalously asks Skeeter to go away with him for the weekend, but she does not. She does agree to come to his parents' for dinner along with her parents.

Miss Skeeter is beginning to realize that her mother does not have the stamina she used to have; when they go shopping for new outfits to wear to have dinner with Stuart's parents, her mother gets tired.

Yule May is the next maid who has agreed to talk to Miss Skeeter for her book; she is an important interview because she is Miss Hilly's maid, and Miss Hilly is the unofficial "queen" of the white community. However, Yule May can no longer talk to Miss Skeeter because she is now in jail, put there by her employer, Miss Hilly. While it is true Yule May did take a ring from Miss Hilly out of desperation, the ring only had minimal value yet Miss Hilly (through her social connections) managed to have Yule May tried and convicted in a virtual whirlwind. Yule May's sentence is four years instead of the typical six months, an indication of Hilly's power and vindictiveness.

Several of the black women agree to talk after what happened to Yule May, and Skeeter is thankful for their courage in telling their stories.