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Literary Criticism and Significance

The Help is Kathryn Stockett's debut novel. It has been favored by the critics as a highly readable and accurate portrayal of life in Jackson, Mississippi during the early civil rights movement. Toby Clements at The Telegraph says of The Help, “Each of the many relationships between the large cast of characters is perfectly captured, and there is a layer after layer of irony....but most impressive—and attractive—is the blend of rage and humor with which she writes and that is what makes this novel at once so horrifying and yet so savagely funny.” While most critics have hailed the novel as a success, some have criticized Stockett for her use of outdated dialect. Janet Maslin from the New York Times , said, “The trouble on the pages of Skeeter's book is nothing compared...

(The entire section is 260 words.)