Hannibal Free Public Library

The Help

Kathryn Stockett

October 25, 2010

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole, Mississippi . She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi , and her mother will not be happy until Skeeter has a ring on her finger.

Discussion Questions

  1. Who was your favorite character? Why?

    What do you think motivated Hilly?
  2. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?
  3. Do you think Skeeter's mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?
  4. How much of a person's character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?
  5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart's faults and that it is not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?
  6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?
  7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother?
  8. Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?
  9. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hair shellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Looking back on your past, what's the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?
  10. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?
  11. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white?
  12. What did you think about Minny's pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?

Adapted from http://www.kathrynstockett.com/discussion-questions/