The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

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Why does Skeeter go to see Mr. Blackly at The Jackson Journal?

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There weren't many career options available for women in early 1960s America, especially in the south, but Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan's nothing if not determined to blaze a trail. She doesn't want to be a housewife like many other southern women; she wants to carve out a career as a writer. She applies for some editorial jobs in New York City only to be told that she doesn't have enough experience. Her rejection letter informs Skeeter that she should try to find work on a local newspaper to have something to put on her resume.

Skeeter takes this advice to heart and goes to visit the offices of The Jackson Journal to see if they have anything available. As luck would have it, they do, though it's not quite what Skeeter expected. The paper's editor, Mr. Blackly, gives Skeeter an entry-level position as a housework advice columnist. Skeeter has taken her first step towards a career in journalism, even though she has to deal with the sexist assumption that women are only capable of writing on the subject of housework.

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