Activity A – Categories of Multiple Narrative Perspective Novels
The category of my novel is “One Event, Multiple Perspectives”. The story is narrated by three different women living in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60s where black maids raise white children but integration is a long, long way from their daily reality. Aibileen works for Miss Leefolt and is raising her seventeenth white child at the same time as she grieves for her son’s recent tragic death. Minny, sassy and quite the best cook in town is trying to keep her tongue in check and not get fired from yet another household and Miss Skeeter, home from college, is trying to find out where her childhood maid has disappeared to and discover what she really wants ...view middle of the document...
Often, you get a description of events from three different perspectives and this works brilliantly to highlight even further the disparity in status between the help and the employers. Despite their very different characters, they each bring an immediate warmth and comfort to the story and draw you in right from the start. It’s a tale that shocks and outrages you at appalling conditions and people’s capacity for outdated and repulsive attitudes, but one that also makes you laugh out loud and somehow, in the midst of all of it, the strength of the characters, the absolute truthfulness and the belief and care you have immediately in and for them, involves you to the point you feel aggrieved and angry and supportive often at the same time. It isn’t only the three narrators that are so carefully drawn.
Celia Foote is a fascinating character and even Minny’s husband, though he appears very little in the book, is as present as anyone. The author creates a character out of their hometown, making a story about both community and ostracism. You can feel the heat in the hot summer and the mud on the truck Miss Skeeter uses to drive over to Hilly’s. Ah... Hilly. She’s absolutely the villain of the piece, but she’s also a complete product of her environment. When you learn what happens to her you would think it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person! I loved Miss Skeeter’s journey but ultimately all three are looking for their place in the world and some meaning to their lives.
Miss Skeeter’s interaction with Elaine Stein was fabulous, the outcome of which changes everything. The trust between the three is touching; each making a true sacrifice for something that’s important.