Examine the significant thematic concerns in The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that one of the most significant thematic concerns of Stockett's work is to provide context for the emergence in the Civil Rights Movement.  The work's focus is this time period as it serves as its historical context.  Its thematic concern and purpose is to give voice to the individuals in the time period that found voice to be a challenging element to articulate.  The construction of Skeeter's book is based on the emergence of voice.  This is one of the basic premises of the Civil Rights Movement and the work is concerned with being able to explore this in all of its complexity.  

At the same time, the work is thematically driven with being able to show how resistance in the face of that which is morally, politically, and spiritually offensive must be advocated.  Stockett's work resides in the realm of showing how individuals are compelled to take action when their sensibilities are offended in such a manner that Southern segregation presented itself in the 1950s and 1960s.  The thematic concern of bringing this out is seen when more women of color come out to support Skeeter's work as the movement for change is fledgling.  It is this concern that lies at the heart of Stockett's work, a concern that seeks to give voice to the voiceless and strive to empower to those who lack power.

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The Help

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