Mallory T. Harvey Prof. Cohen-Gee/ Univ 111-051 December 7, 2018 Unit III Essay Eat My Pie! Minny is famous for her sweet chocolate pies, and many people have hired her as her as their black-house maid just to get a taste of her special cooking. Minny’s food is so delicious that her “employers,” also known as the vicious white housewives of the South- will often tolerate and put up with her boisterous and her overwhelming personality just so they can continue to eat her food. Minny has always been confident in her baking skills, and the pies are the highlight of her special menu. Mrs. Jackson unique cooking talents assure her that her current employers won’t fire her for expressing herself in the otherwise authoritarian environment of the white southern household.Also, Minny also uses her special pies to overthrow the typical way of life in the 1960s household. After Miss Hilly jeopardizes Minny’s chances of ever finding work again, Minny makes a chocolate custard pie including the “special ingredient” of her own feces, and watches Hilly savor two large slices of it before telling her the truth about the ingredients. Minny humiliates and degrades Hilly as an act of revenge, but also gains a kind power over her. Now Minny has something to hold over Hilly’s head, a secret she can reveal if Hilly continues to spread rumors about her. This form of black mailing also targets Hilly’s racist belief that black people carry diseases. In essence, by feeding Hilly two slices of the waste matter pie without her getting sick, Minny paints a picture in a distinctly, extreme way the straightforward truth that black people do not carry racially-specific diseases. Race is not a neutral concept in The Help placed in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi is one heck of a segregated society. Still firmly stuck
in the Jim Crow Era there are extremely strict rules, laws, and a typical way of life that racially restricts the lives of the black townspeople. These rules also limits white people who want to cross the color line. Kathryn Stockett's novel and film flawlessly explores the worst of the false stereotypes about black people that they are sluggish, disease carrying, and they are only good for work. Also that they are generally less intelligent and less valuable than of the other white people. She shows how these fictions are tied together of everyday life in Jackson, from the laws to ordinary conversations, and how these beliefs get passed from generation to generation. It
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- Fall '07
- White people, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Minny, Miss Hilly