Study Guide

Johnny Foote in The Help

By Kathryn Stockett

Johnny Foote

Johnny is a bright light in the novel. Yes, he's part of the society that oppresses people of color, but he seems to subscribe to a very different value system. Minny and Celia (Johnny's wife) both expect Johnny to behave typically – that is, to treat Minny without respect and to love Celia only if she gives him children and fits in with the society ladies. As it turns out, Johnny values both women for who they are and will do all he can to shield them from ugliness and discomfort. Although fraught with miscommunication, Johnny and Celia share what seems to be the novel's only true romance.

Another hint that Johnny's a good guy: as Minny observes, "He reads a lot" (18.15). Like Skeeter and Aibileen and, it seems, Minny, Johnny's reading Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird – a novel, as Minny notes, "with black folks in it" (18.16).