The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

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How is Miss Skeeter different from the other young ladies in The Help?

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Miss Skeeter is different because she is more progressive and independent.

Prejudice against black people is ingrained in most of the people where Skeeter grew up. However, she had a close relationship with Constantine, the black nanny who helped to raise her. This relationship and her college education led to her seeing racial bias differently than people like Hilly, for example. She didn't dehumanize black people in the way that many whites in her community did; this made her treat black people around her with more concern and respect. As she learns about the experiences of the maids, she comes to better understand how wrong the way black people are treated in her society is.

Skeeter was also more independent than other women of a similar background. She went to college, works, and isn't focused on the prospect of marriage. This attitude is something else that isolates her from other wealthy white women and creates problems with people in her life.

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Miss Skeeter, one of the main characters in Kathryn Stockett's The Help, is different from the other women in the novel in several ways. For one thing, she is interested in the opinions and lives of the black housekeepers who work in the homes of the white women in Jackson, Mississippi. While Hilly and the other white women are concerned only with their maids as employees, Miss Skeeter asks them questions about their lives.

The other women exhibit blind prejudice, relegating their maids to separate bathrooms. "It’s just plain dangerous. Everybody knows they carry different kinds of diseases than we do," Hilly says, even going so far as to launch the Home Health Sanitation Initiative. Hilly's initiative proposes that all white homeowners be required to provide a separate bathroom for the black people who work at their homes. Miss Skeeter, however, finds the idea ridiculous and insulting. “Maybe we ought to just build you a bathroom outside, Hilly,” Miss Skeeter says.

Miss Skeeter is also interested in a career in journalism, while the majority of her friends in the Junior League are interested primarily in snagging a husband and keeping up appearances. In addition, Miss Skeeter is not as physically attractive as most of her friends; she is tall and lanky (often towering over potential suitors), and her hair is hard to manage. Miss Skeeter's mother, however, believes that her healthy trust fund can overcome men's reluctance to date her; she hopes that Miss Skeeter will eventually find someone to marry her. Miss Skeeter, however, is focused on her career as a writer and goes along with her mother's attempts to improve her appearance just to appease her.

While Miss Skeeter's friends accept and endorse the mistreatment of their black employees, she sees the black women who work as maids as humans and as worthy of respect. Miss Skeeter's friends want to keep their society as it is, while she is willing to challenge the status quo by telling the stories of the black women who work as maids in Jackson.

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Miss Skeeter differs from the other ladies because her focus is different. She intends to make a career for herself in journalism rather than focusing solely on getting married. She is also more open-minded than the other ladies. She is willing to have her societal prejudices challenged. She's also very brave and willing to fight the racial prejudice in her town through publishing a book that could ruin her career.

She is so focused on this goal that she is willing to give up relationships in order to pursue what she thinks is right. Her boyfriend breaks up with her, and she must oppose most of her friends.

She is incredibly tenacious and a risk-taker, while the other young white ladies are often shallow and only focused on their immediate comfort.

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