Writing Workshop: “The Help” Part Three

Check out this post to see what this is all about.

This covers chapters 17-26 which are comprised of 51 scenes.

The Storyfix Take

The Purpose of Part Three  

This where the hero actively works to surmount whatever obstacles are in the way of succeeding in the quest. The characters have decided what to do and are now committed to do whatever it takes.

At the same time, the tension keeps building and the story’s sub-plots get richer.

The need to finish the book and have it published is at least as great as the need for safety and security for the “good guys.” For the villain, Miss Hilly, the need to maintain and display her power over the black community (especially the maids), is just as important.

Lady Myers’ Take

Heat

This section of the book boils on every level. I can relate to the hot weather, although thankfully mine is a dry heat. I know the way it makes everything harder to deal with, how people have much shorter tempers. That’s how it is in “The Help” too.

Miss Hilly fires her maid and gets her sent to prison, which just makes me sick. The response from the black community is heart-warming and -breaking at the same time. Not only do they pool their resources to send that maid’s sons to school and pay for an attorney, a good number of maids step forward to help with the book. The danger is even more prominent, but nothing is more important than the cause of equality.

Skeeter is forced to add the Sanitation Initiative to the League newsletter but uses her wordsmithing skills to undermine it. I can’t wait to see the scene in the movie when Miss Hilly’s lawn is covered in toilets.

Violence

The violence that has taken place in the book so far becomes personal as it invades the lives of Minny and Celia so blatantly. The conundrum that is Minny’s tolerance of her husband’s abuse becomes an issue that must be dealt with. This is combined with the appearance of a crazy, naked white man on the Footes’ property, ending with Celia giving the man a proper ass-kicking.

Lines

The lines are drawn, disputed, blurred and redrawn. Minny finally acknowledges that she wants to cross that line and help Celia. As Aibileen says, “. . .kindness don’t have no boundaries.”

The lines in white society are trampled on at the League Benefit, where Celia truly discovers how much of an outsider she really is. I found this chapter (25) to be confusing, as it’s the only one not narrated by one of the characters. I wonder why Larry didn’t address this? Maybe he does in a later post.

Your Turn

Did chapter 25 throw you too? What did you think the most cringe-worthy moment was?

Let me know in the comments.

* * *

Monday we’ll review Part Four  chapters 27-34 .

The corresponding Storyfix post is here.

2 Comments

  1. I didn’t even catch that it wasn’t narrated by one of the characters! Everything about poor Celia was ‘cringe-worthy.’ it made me squirm just thinking of what the others were saying about her. Was it even more so seeing it on the screen?

    Reply
    • Yes, especially in a certain scene, which I won’t give away here!

      Reply

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