Short para – Charlotte Phelan – The Help

7 July 2016

The reason why I chose “The Help” was primarily because it was the book chosen for review in the curriculum. This book has also been classified as a best seller by “The New York Times”. When I started reading the book, I became drawn to the characters portrayed in it. It told of a story based in 1962. At that time it was a privilege for white families to employ black housemaids to take care of their little children, and do household chores. It also gives an insight of how certain white people treated their black domestic helps, and their attitude in general, towards black people. The fear and trauma faced by black people at the hands of white people was also significantly highlighted. Each character has been described in detail in the book. The author also has given an insight to their lifestyles, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes, with a touch of humor appropriately added.

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Character Analysis
Charlotte Phelan – Skeeter’s mother

Charlotte Phelan portrays the character of a lady who likes to please people and be acceptable to all her aristocratic friends. In order to stay in the good books of her friends, she even goes to the extent of firing her long standing maid Constantine; although she truly did not want to if she had the choice. This turns out to be a hasty decision as it gets her into a position where she finds it difficult to explain her stance especially to her daughter, Skeeter. Constantine looked after Skeeter when she was a child and was her close confider and friend. Skeeter thereby grows more attached to Constantine’s than her own mother. This brings about a rather strained relationship between Charlotte and Skeeter.

Charlotte however has good intentions but finds it difficult to express them. Although she is frail and weak, Charlotte tries her best to force Skeeter to focus more on beautifying herself so that she would attract a suitable husband. She also criticizes Skeeter often about her habits and chosen career path. She wants Skeeter to be a success in everything she does and tries to put her down when she does not succeed in anything. She is also not happy with the way Skeeter befriends black domestic aides in her house as well as those of her friends. Charlotte’s character may be classified as an antagonist. Her character is a round character, because she finally she changes her attitude towards Skeeter, and reveals the whole truth about Constantine’s dismissal. She thereby is able to reconcile with Skeeter, and maintain a healthy mother-daughter relationship in the end.

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