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The Help

The Help

  

by Kathryn Stockett

The Help Chapter 6 Summary

How It All Goes Down

  • It's September now and still hot. Skeeter checks the mail and finds a letter from Elaine Stein at the publishing company Skeeter applied to. The letter says that editors need experience. Fair enough.
  • Miss Stein admires Skeeter's ambition and suggests Skeeter take any job she can get at her local newspaper and offers to look over Skeeter's ideas.
  • Skeeter makes a list of some, and mails it.
  • A few days later, Skeeter, who double majored in journalism and English, goes to the Jackson Journal for a job interview. She's offered a job writing the Miss Myrna column.
  • It's a column that answers questions about cleaning. The real Miss Myrna has had some kind of breakdown. Skeeter just has to copy her style.
  • Skeeter is excited, but has no cleaning know-how. Hmm, so she has to copy her style and come up with answers out of thin air…
  • She convinces a very reluctant Elizabeth to consult with Aibileen.
  • During Aibileen and Skeeter's first meeting, Skeeter asks Aibileen if she happens to know anything about Constantine. Aibileen reveals that Constantine was fired, but won't say more.
  • At home, a very upset Skeeter asks her mother Charlotte if she fired Constantine, who worked for them for 29 years. Charlotte admits that she did, but still won't explain why.
  • When Aibileen is helping Skeeter with the Miss Myrna Column, she tells Skeeter about her son Treelore's death. She tells her Treelore was writing a book about his life in Mississippi.
  • Skeeter also learns that Constantine had a daughter who was born with very pale skin. The father is a black man; the daughter gets her skin tone from Constantine's white father.
  • But it was impossible for a black woman to raise a white-looking child in Jackson. Constantine had to send her daughter away. Her big goal was to get her daughter back.
  • Skeeter has lots more questions, but Aibileen won't answer them.
  • That night, Skeeter gets a letter from Elaine Stein saying that none of Skeeter's ideas are all that exciting. Unless she comes up with something "original" (6.227), Skeeter shouldn't write to her again.
  • Skeeter is very upset, but then she gets a good idea, one that won't leave her alone.

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