How we cite our quotes:
The rain is pouring down all over Miss Celia, but she doesn't care. She starts chopping at that tree. (27.111)
We aren't sure why Celia has always been so disturbed by the mimosa tree – likely it's linked to something bad from her past. When she begins to see that she's valuable even if she can't have children and doesn't fit into the social scene, she is able to chop down that tree.
"Miss Taylor said to draw what we like about ourselves best." I saw then a wrinkled sad looking paper in her hand. I turned it over and sure enough, there's my baby girl done colored herself black. (31.24)
Mae Mobley's racist teacher isn't happy about this. But Mae Mobley has herself transferred right out of that class by letting her dad hear her telling Aibileen's civil rights stories to her brother, then blaming them on the racist teacher – pretty clever for a kid. Already, Mae Mobley is an intelligent young lady, learning to survive in a society that is already treating her like she doesn't belong, because she doesn't fit the ideals of beauty and cuteness.
And then she say it, just like I need her to. "You is kind," she say. "You is smart. You is important." (34.219)
Aibileen wants to hear that Mae Mobley remembers that she is a valuable person. Slyly, Mae Mobley complies, but turns the praise on Aibileen. Aibileen, we suspect, will remain Mae Mobley's female role model for a long time to come.