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  • AUGUST 1962- it is the fourth Wednesday of the month, bridge club day, and Aibileen straightens the house, manages Baby Girl (Mae Mobley Leefolt), serves the women, and overhears their conversation. We also meet Skeeter in this scene, a young aspiring writer.
  • This scene shows us that Miss Hilly Holbrook still strongly believes in segregation. This is important because this book takes place in the middle of the civil rights movement. We also see the struggle Abilene faces basically having to raise miss Elizabeths child but not getting any recognition or respect for her handwork.
  • “All these houses they’re building without maid’s quarters? It’s just plain dangerous. Everybody knows they carry different kinds of diseases than we do.” Hilly Holbrook (Pg.8)
  • We begin to understand the anger these maids must feel towards the way they are treated by the white women they work for. Aibileen's humor gets her through bad times, and it is clear that she must keep her real self inside in order to appear the subservient, obedient maid. She is also proud of her skills at raising children and is secretly pleased that they favor her over their own mamas. Minny on the other hand is much more sassy and is not afraid to speak her mind. It could end up getting her in trouble. This quote just shows how Minny is not afraid to talk back.
  • Soon we meet Minny, Aibileen's best friend. Aibileen is a little more sassy than Minny and is very upset with the current state of living for black maids during this time.
  • Late on, Minny gets a job being a maid for Celia Rae Foote who has never had a maid. Celia desperately needs housekeeping help but she does not want her husband to know about Minny. Minny becomes irritated that Celia never leaves the house and seems so grateful, which is out of character for a white woman, to have her help.
  • “What you think I am? A chauffeur? I ain’t driving you to no country club in the pouring rain.” – Minny Jackson (Pg 17)
  • It is interesting that Minny becomes irritated that Celia is nice to her, it shows how accustomed black maids were to being mistreated during this time. Its a big change for Minny having gone from Miss Hilly to Miss Celia.
  • "Please, I want him to think I can do it on my own. I want him to think I'm…worth it." Celia Foote (p. 99)
  • "Everytime we meet, I complain. I moan. I get mad and throw a hot potato fit. But here’s the thing: I like telling my stories." Minny pg.(218)
  • Typically stubborn Minny likes to pretend she doesn't enjoy sharing her stories but she really does, as does Aibileen. Truthfully they are both happy and relieved to have someone listening to their side of the story.
  • Skeeter, the aspiring writer, begins to take interest in the stories these black maids have to share. She asks Aibileen and Minny to tell their stories and have them be in the book she's writing about what life is like for a the help.
  • As they share their stories, we soon learn of the death of Aibileen's son. He was killed by a tractor trailer after falling down at work one day. This is an imortant detail as it might explain why she is so quiet and solemn.
  • The senseless death of Aibileen's son Treelore causes Aibileen to focus on the injustices around her and want to do something to create change. Truth-telling becomes the vehicle she uses to do so.
  • "But it wasn't too long before I seen something in me had changed. A bitter seed was planted inside a me. And I just didn't feel so accepting anymore." Aibileen pg.225
  • Themes of humiliation and revenge dominate this chapter. Hilly spreads lies about Minny's thievery so that no one else will hire her. A maid's reputation is everything, and Hilly has ruined Minny's credentials. Most maids would have just accepted their fate, but Minny is not good at staying in her assigned place. Minny's mouth gets in her trouble all the time and the chocolate pie incident is no exception. Her humiliation of Hilly is complete and a power shift occurs.
  • In chapter 26, Miss Hilly tires to hire Minny again after accusing her of stealing. Minny, still angry with Miss Hilly lying to everyone, came up with the perfect plan. Minny made her a special chocolate pie, and Hilly thought it was a peace offering, so she ate two whole slices. Afterwards, Minny tells her that she also contributed a very special ingredient, her poop. Then Minny blackmails Hilly and says she will tell everyone in town about the special pie.
  • “Minny: "Eat my shit." Hilly: "Excuse me?" Minny: "I said" Hilly: "Have you lost your mind?" Minny: "No ma'am, but you about to, cause you just did."
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