The Help is what's known as a novel of education, meaning that the main characters undergo a series of gripping adventures that open their eyes to new truths and their lives to new opportunities. In the process, they act as educators, using storytelling, story writing, and devious pranks to effect positive change in their community.
This book also looks at attitudes toward education and the unequal access to education in general for black citizens of Jackson. College for Jackson's white women is more of a place to find a husband than a place to get a good education. Skeeter is even considered a failure at college because she didn't find a husband, unlike Hilly and Elizabeth who drop out as soon as they find their not-so-charming princes. Minny and Aibileen both have little formal education but are both very literate – in terms of literature and current events, more so at times than many of their white counterparts, especially the female ones.