The theme a literary study entails the central topic of the text that the narrator treats for narrating his story. In other way, the theme of the contemporary literary works presents the underneath meaning of the work signifying the central idea to the readers. A story can have several different themes connected with the plot. For example, the central theme of the Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the theme of love. The entire story reflects the dominance of love between Romeo and Juliet and focuses on the different incidents and conflicts around the central theme. Another example of the love theme paramount throughout the storey is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. The narrator in the story portrays the theme of love underlying the theme of the revenge. Forbidden love between Edward and Bella is the central theme of the novel, which the narrator has portrayed significantly throughout the story. Similarly, one of the central themes of the novel The Help is again love, which is contrasted by the theme of bitter hate. The novel does not reflect the love theme as romantic, but the contrast and the counteraction between the suppressed love and dominant hate.
The theme of love in The Help is not purely similar to the theme of Romeo and Juliet and Twilight. Though the central theme of these three books are same, but the depiction and the treatment of the theme is different from each other. Apart from the theme of love, there are other conflicting themes of social class, race, violence and hate. The narrator has aptly depicted the social conditions of the contemporary society. The racial categorization of the upper and the lower class has been done by the skin color. The white people of the society belonged to the upper class, whereas the black people are meant to be the maids and servants for the white people. The novel depicts the distinct relationship of the black and white people through various aspects of emotions.
The two distinct class of the contemporary society are meant to behave in certain ways in order to accomplish the social expectations. The people belonging to the upper class are the ruling class who dictate the lives of the lower class black people. Elizabeth and Hilly is the perfect representative of the upper class who is driven by the racist culture. Whereas, Skeeter, one of the central character of the novel does not fit in the upper class as she feels pity and love for the lower class people serving white people. In fact, Skeeter, later in the novel publishes a book, which tells the story of the lower class black people. Aibileen and Minny are remaining central characters who help Skeeter writing the book. However, the book Skeeter publishes at the end of the novel is named The Help. The narrator has allegorically kept the name of her novel same as the book published in the story by the central character of the novel.
The effort and the initiative to write a book on the lives of the maids in the contemporary society makes Skeeter to not follow the social expectation according to the racial division of the society. She is however not afraid to lose her social dignity, since she knows she is following the right path. The novel also tells the painful consequences of Skeeter for not performing her traditional role. The narrator also has presented the theme of violence with the by presenting the incidents that diffuse the loving speech and the domestic violence on the black people.
There are several themes presented in the novel. The novel and the book published in the novel by the central characters create a sense of camouflage in the novel, though both signify the helpless condition of the black people. The novel however, portrays the theme of love under the vague prevalence of hate.
Kelm, Rebecca. “Stockett, Kathryn. The Help.(Brief Article)(Book Review).” Library Journal, vol. 134, no. 1, 2009, p. 83.
Carroll, Joseph, et al. Graphing Jane Austen: The evolutionary basis of literary meaning. Springer, 2012.
"The Help Themes From Litcharts | The Creators Of Sparknotes." Litcharts, 2017,