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The film The Help, directed by Tate Taylor, is set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement of the

1960s. An aspiring author, Eugene Skeeter Phelan, decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. I found this film really interesting; firstly because of the way some women acted in regard to their children, and secondly because the racial tensions underlying this story meant that several of the characters had to act with courage, and make difficult decisions. An aspect of this story I found particularly appalling, was how some of the young white mothers, notably Elizabeth Leefolt, treated their own children. Aibileen is one of the black maids Skeeter interviews, and looks after her employers little girl Mae. Ms Leefolt only lifts her daughter once a day, and at one point starts hitting Mae after she publicly embarrasses her then leaves Aibileen to comfort her afterwards. Ms Leefolt doesnt take the time to bond with her daughter, and so Mae sees Aibileen as her mother. I was appalled at Ms Leefolts behaviour toward her innocent and socially unaware daughter, but at the same time felt sorry for her, because she is missing out on one of the strongest bonds two people can experience. Feeling Mae and Aibileens pain as they are separated made me realise the strength of a parental relationship, and also made me appreciate my own mother for the big role she had in my upbringing. Society often undermines the importance, and in my opinion necessity, of the bond between a mother and her child. Children need a parental figure to show them they are loved and cared for, and to guide them through life. However a lot of society fails to realise this, despite the fact that it is society that places expectations on our children, and then expects the mothers to raise their children into people who can meet these expectations. Children without someone to show them they are loved may not grow to trust others, and so may grow isolated from society, because no-one has shown them how to fit in and live with direction or purpose. By placing more emphasis on the responsibility parents have for their children, more young mothers may realise the importance of that parental bond, and not make the same mistake Elizabeth did. Although Im not particularly planning on having children, I know I will do my utmost to be the best mother I can be, so as to spare my children the pain of being motherless, as well as sparing myself the regret of losing the special bond created between parents and their children. Further, I loved this film because the strength of the characters in this story both inspired me and made me realise how lucky I am to be living in a society where racism is not particularly prominent. Living in an area where being both black and a woman meant you were basically the least important and privileged of society, the courage showed by the black maids who testified for Skeeter, as well as Skeeter herself, is inspiring. I was particularly captivated by Skeeters independence and strength of character, because she didnt let the society of petty-minded socialists keep her from dreaming of becoming a writer, or doing what was right by letting people know how the black maids in her town were treated. The society in which Skeeter lived shows us that status based on the colour of your skin, or your gender, is wrong and does not define a persons strength or intelligence. This story can only make us thankful that thanks to people like Skeeter, our society does believe in the values of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. However it also reminds us that the world is not perfect, and that there is still racism and prejudice beyond our own lives, that are affecting millions of people every day. Society changes as its people do, and The Help shows us that if people have the courage to follow the moral path and fight for what is right, then our society can only become more enlightened and change for the better. A lot of people are lucky, but a lot of people are not, and its up to those of us who have the influence, or have the power to make an influence, to change the beliefs of the people around us. Racism is cruel and unjustified, but there are those who would ignore it because they place their comfort over what is morally right. Having enough confidence in what you believe in is the first step in breaking free of immoral beliefs in society, but then it is up to the strength of your heart and courage to stand up and speak out. I can only hope that if the time comes I will have Skeeters courage and vision in fighting for what is right, and change my society for the better. Skeeter was a plain woman from a small town, but her story inspires something powerful, hope. For if she had the courage to fight for change, then we can too. This story was amazing, for mixed in with the wit and humour, was a message about beliefs and society. This teaches us that children need to be nurtured and guided, so that they can become confident adults who will speak their opinions, and inspires us to be the person who has the courage to fight for change.