Study Guide

The Help Chapter 4

By Kathryn Stockett

Chapter 4

  • The first week Minny works for Celia, she cleans the massive house until it's spotless.
  • She wonders why Celia doesn't have any kids, and wonders what Celia does when she sneaks upstairs all secretive. She wonders why Celia is always lying down too. She wonders why Celia hates the mimosa bush in the yard; Minny's own yard is bare.
  • But Minny doesn't try too hard to figure out Celia, as much as it started to sound like that. Her mother taught her long ago not to worry about white people's business.
  • She's trying to teach Celia to cook, but Celia's hopeless at it.
  • Minny wants Celia to go hang out with some ladies, get out of her hair, but Celia says none of the ladies will return her calls.
  • Minny is in Celia's kitchen thinking about her family back home.
  • Last night, her five-year-old daughter Kindra, the youngest of five, told Minny she hates her.
  • She's afraid her daughter has inherited her smart mouth.
  • She thinks about her son Benny's asthma, and her husband Leroy's drinking, and the fact that her father was also a drunk. She imagines eating the fried okra and peach cobbler at home tonight.
  • Suddenly, Minny realizes Mr. Johnny has come home and he's almost in the kitchen!
  • Minny yells to Celia, and then hides in the bathroom, crouched up on the toilet seat. She thinks, "Look at me. Look at what it's come to for Minny Jackson to make a damn living" (4.57).