Quotes from The Help



**** DEAR STUDENTS, and anyone else who has been assigned this book. While I occasionally answer reader questions, it is not a daily function of this blog. ****



Plenty of black men leave their families behind like trash in a dump, but it’s not something the colored woman do. We’ve got the kids to think aboutMinny Jackson (Pg 311)

Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny in the film The Help








“You is kind, you is smart. You is important.” Mae Mobley (Pg 443)

They are scared, looking at the back door every ten minutes, afraid they’ll get caught talking to me. Afraid they’ll be beaten like Louvenia’s grandson, or, hell, bludgeoned in their front yard like Medgar Evers.* (Pg 277 *error in the book. Medgar Evers was shot, not bludgeoned. The novel even has the character of Minny stating Evers’ was shot)


I might as well be Little Stevie Wonder I am so blinded by that dressMinny Jackson (Pg 317)

“I’ve been thinking about you. You’re smart, you’re pretty, you’re…tall.” Stuart Whitworth, the state senator’s son to Skeeter, his date (Pg 171)

“I hope you write someting really good. Something you believe in” –Stuart  Whitworth speaking to Skeeter (Pg 171)

“It’s called the Home Help Sanitation Initiative- ” Hilly Holbrook (Pg 60)

“A bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help. I’ve even notified the surgeon general of Mississippi to see if he’ll endorse the idea.” Hilly Holbrook (Pg 9)

“What you think I am? A chauffeur? I ain’t driving you to no country club in the pouring rain.” – Minny Jackson (Pg 17)

“Are you…do you find …find men attractive? Are you having unnatural thoughts about…girls or-or women?” –Charlotte Phelan (Pg 75)

I am neither thrilled nor disappointed by the news that they might let a colored man into Ole Miss, just surprised. – Skeeter (Pg 83)

“I say ‘ That good vanilla from Mexico’  and then I go head. I tell her what else I put in that pie for her.” Minny revealing the Terrible Awful secret to Miss Celia (Pg 339)

“Mother, I want to be with girls as much as you’d like to be with …Jameso.”  Skeeter (Pg 75)

“All these houses they’re building without maid’s quarters? It’s just plain dangerous. Everybody knows they carry different kinds of diseases than we do.” Hilly Holbrook  (Pg eight)

And Miss Skeeter asking don’t I want to change things, like changing Jackson, Mississippi, gone be like changing a lightbulb.Aibileen (Pg 24)

“If I didn’t hit you Minny, who knows what you become.” Leroy to Minny (Pg 413)

I told him don’t drink coffee or he gone turn colored. He say he still ain’t drunk a cup a coffee and he twenty-one years old. It’s always nice to see the kids grown up fine. (Aibileen Pg 91)

Yule May easy to recognize from the back cause she got such good hair, smooth, no nap to it.  (Pg 208)

“We was all surprised Constantine would go and… get herself in a family way. Some folks at church wasn’t so kind about it, especially when the baby come out white. Even though the father was black as me.” Aibileen to Skeeter (Pg 358)

“I’m ashamed. Sometimes, Senator. Ashamed of what goes on in Mississippi.” Carlton Phelan Skeeter’s father (Pg 268)

“I told Shirley Boon her ass won’t fit on no stool at Woolworth’s anyway.” Minny (Pg 217)

“And then they dropped him off at the colored hospital. That’s what the nurse told me, who was standing outside. They rolled him off the truck bed and the white men drove away.” Aibileen to Skeeter (Pg 153)

“You know, its no wonder Stuart Whitworth dropped you.” Hilly talking to Skeeter. (Pg 280)

What would Constantine think of me? Skeeter (Pg 281)

“Remember I told you Constantine had a daughter. Well, Lulabelle was her name. Law, she come out pale as snow. Grew hair the color a hay. Not curly like yours. Straight it was.” Aibileen to Skeeter (Pg 358)

“She looked white as anybody, and she knew it too.” Charlotte Phelan talking to Skeeter about Lulabelle, Constantine’s now fully grown daughter.  (Pg 362)

“I told Lulabelle the truth. I told her, “Your daddy didn’t die. He left the day after you were born. And your mama hadn’t been sick a day in her life. She gave you up because you were too high yellow. She didn’t want you.” Charlotte Phelan to Sketter (Pg 364)

“It’s not the same with Pascagoula here, is it?” she says.

“No” I say. It’s not.” This is the first time she’s mentioned Constantine since our terrible discussion.

“They say its like true love, good help. You only get one a lifetime.”

I nod, thinking I should write that down. But of course, include it in the book. But of course its too late, it’s already been mailed. There’s nothing I can do, nothing any of us can do now, except wait for what’s coming.  Charlotte Phelan speaking with Skeeter (Pg 372)

“Go shopping…get some new clothes. Go do whatever white women do when the maid’s home.”  Minny speaking to Miss Celia (Pg 51)

“Cat got on the porch this morning, bout gave me a cadillac arrest thinking it was Mister Johnny.” Minny (Pg 48)

“Say maybe she getting mal-nutritious.” Aibileen to Minny, (Pg 14)

“That ugly white fool” Minny (Pg 292)

“I got me a knife!” Minny (Pg 307)

“I never thought Constantine would go to Illinois with her, Eugenia. Honestly, I was…sorry to see her go.” Charlotte Phelan to Skeeter, on Constantine leaving with her daughter Lulabelle for Chicago  (Pg 365)

“The book is not about Jackson!” Hilly to the bridge club ladies after Skeeter’s novel comes out. (Pg 428)

She roll her eyes and stick her tongue out like I handed her a plate a dog biscuits. “I knew you was getting senile,” she say.  Aibileen, noting Minny’s expression before she answers. (Pg 430)

“Who taught you those things, Mae Mobley?” Mister Leefolt say and Baby Girl whip her head around with eyes like she seed a ghost. Aibileen watching Raleigh Leefolt speak to Mae Mobley (Pg 431)

My mouth drop open. Why she never tell me this before? “You saying people think I got the black magic?” Aibileen speaking to Minny (Pg 24)

“Please. Find you another colored maid. A young’un. Somebody. . .else.”

“But I don’t know any others well enough.” I am tempted to bring up the word friends, but I’m not that naïve. I know we’re not friends. (Skeeter speaking with Aibileen Pg 109)

He black. Blacker than me. (Pg 189) Aibileen, comparing her complexion to a roach

41 Responses “Quotes from The Help” →
  1. thank you!

  2. does anyone know what page number this is on? “Once upon a time they was two girls,” I say. “one girl had black skin, one girl had white.”
    Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.
    “Little colored girl say to little white girl, ‘How come your skin be so pale?’ White girl say, ‘I don’t know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?’
    “But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, ‘Well, let’s see. You got hair, I got hair.'”I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.
    “Little colored girl say ‘I got a nose, you got a nose.'”I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.
    “Little white girl say, ‘I got toes, you got toes.’ And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can’t get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.
    “‘So we’s the same. Just a different color’, say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End.”
    Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn’t even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, “Tell it again.”

    • Hi Ashley,

      It’s from page 200 in the hard copy of the novel.
      When Mae Mobley says “tell it again” it ends with Aibileen stating
      “So I do. By the fourth time, she asleep. I whisper, “I’m on tell you a better one next time.” (Aibileen, Pg 200)

  3. Does anyone know what page it is on where Minny admits she likes telling her stories to Skeeter?

    • Hello, Katilyn,

      It’s on Pg 218 in the hard cover copy of novel. Minny states . . . Everytime we meet, I complain. I moan. I get mad and throw a hot potato fit. But here’s the thing: I like telling my stories.

  4. anyone know a goood quote showing how the whites dont accept the blacks. and 2 quotes showing how the whites want to keep the status quo and not allow any black or people of other ethnicities besides whites. thanks

    • Hello Jake,

      There’s a quote right on this page you can use to answer your first question:

      “A bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help. I’ve even notified the surgeon general of Mississippi to see if he’ll endorse the idea.” Hilly Holbrook (Pg 9)

      I’ve posted additional quotes from the book that you can choose from for your second question. Starting on Pg 172 (hard cover book) Skeeter goes into the library and finds a book of laws which separate blacks from whites. These laws were termed Jim Crow laws. The title of the book Skeeter sees is Compilation of Jim Crow Laws of the South

      “No person shall require any white female to nurse in wards or rooms in which negro men are placed.” (Pg 173)

      “It shall be unlawful for a white person to marry anyone excerpt a white person. any marriage in violation of this shall be void.” (Pg 173)

      “No colored barber shall serve as a barber to white women or girls.” (Pg 173)

      “The officer in charge shall not bury any colored persons upon ground used for the burial of white persons.” (Pg 173)

      “Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them.” (Pg 173)

      • Hey guys, does anybody know about two excerpts from the help that represent how aibileen changes throughout the course of the novel?

        • Hello Parker,

          The easy answer would be 1) When Aibileen breaks down and “helps” Skeeter though she’s reluctant to at first, but changes her mind after Hilly insults her (Hilly’s insinuation that blacks and whites are “different” and that’s why separate toilets are needed truly offended Aibileen, but it’s never really dwelled on in the book. This would have been a good opportunity to dig deeper into Aibileen’s pain at that moment, how it felt to be insulted but unable to respond in kind. Instead Aibileen is so tightly coiled and scared to show emotion that the character comes off flat and as an unrealistic saint imho).

          From the novel, Skeeter speaks first:

          “I just … have to ask you. What changed your mind?”
          Aibileen doesn’t even pause. “Miss Hilly,” she says.
          I go quiet, thinking of Hilly’s bathroom plan abd accusing the maid of stealing and and her talk of diseases. The name comes out flat, bitter as a bad pecan. (Pg 122, Skeeter is the narrator talking to Aibileen on the phone)

          Thus Aibileen truly becomes the caricature of a blindly loyal, suffering in silence maid, since Stockett decided Minny should be the one to get angry, and there’s your “different voices” the publisher claimed had been created. The saintly maid (a rip off of Delilah and Annie from the 1939 and 1959 versions, respectively in the film Imitation of Life) and the sassy, back talking maid (another rip off, this time Mammy from Gone With The Wind, who begat a slew of TV and movie maids who cracked jokes and were quick to get angry).

          Next, or 2) you can use the scene where Aibileen’s crying at the end, and she realizes that she’s not too old to learn new things, and she could have a career in writing.

          From the novel, Aibileen is the narrator:

          “The sun is bright but my eyes is wide open. I stand at the bus stop like I been doing for forty-odd years. In thirty minutes, my whole life’s … done. Maybe I ought to keep writing, not just for the paper, but something else, about all the people I know and the things I seen and done. Maybe I ain’t too old to start over, I think and laugh and cry at the same time at this. Cause just last night I thought I was finished with everything new.” (Pg 444, hard cover copy of The Help, Aibileen’s inner dialogue).

          A pet peeve of mine is that neither Minny or Aibileen actually “change”. It’s simply their circumstances that are different. Neither one wanted any part of the civil rights movement springing up in their hometown, which was a major blunder of research/critical analysis of the time period, as Jackson MS was a hot bed during the civil rights movement (google Freedom Riders and you’ll find that they’d poured into Jackson in 1961, and both white and black college students as well as teens in Jackson not only attended non-violent marches, but tried to register black voters). But domestics made up a major portion of those marching and demanding equality in the south, partially based on their working conditions.

  5. Does anybody know on which page in the book “Seperate but equal” is mentioned?

  6. Hi Linette,

    On page 185 of the hard cover version of the book, Hilly states (Aibileen is the narrator):

    “Separate but equal,” Miss Hilly say back to Miss Leefolt. “That’s what Governor Ross Barnett says is right, and youj can’t argue with the government.”

    This is stated after Hilly asks Aibileen whether she likes having her own toilet.

  7. Anyone know of a quote with page number of Aibileen displaying theme of family?

  8. Hello harrylavertue95,

    Here’s one by Aibileen on Page 184:

    Heather, Miss Hilly’s girl, she pretty cute. Heather got dark, shiny curls all over her head and some little freckles, and she real talkative. One thing I got to say about Miss Hilly, she love her children. About every five minutes, she kiss Will on the head. Or she ask Heather, is she having fun? Or come here and give Mama a hug. Always telling her she the most beautiful girl in the world. And Heather love her momma too. She look at Miss Hilly like she looking up at the Statue a Liberty. That kind a love always make me want a cry. Even when it going to Miss Hilly. Cause it make me think about Treeloree, how much he love me. I appreciate a child adoring they mama. (Pg 184)

    Keep in mind though, when Aibileen remarks on her good friend Minny’s home life how her halo is a bit crooked. Note what she says:

    As usual, Minny’s house be like a chicken coop on fire. Minny be hollering, things be flinging around, all the kids squawking. I see the first hint a Minny’s belly under her dress and I’m grateful she finally showing. Leroy, he don’t hit Minny when she pregnant. And Minny know this so I spec they’s gone be a lot more babies after this one. (Pg 396)

  9. Does anyone know any quotes about the hardships faced by the maids?

    • Hello cutte123michell,

      Here are a few you may want to use. For Aibileen:

      I lost my own boy Treelore, right before I started waiting on Miss Leefolt. He was twenty-four years old. The best part of a person’s life. It just wasn’t enough time living in this world. (Pg 2)

      **Try to imagine having to still get up and go to work, and have a constant smile on your face during that time period, even though your only son has died.**

      From the maid Callie, as she tells Skeeter what it was like to work for a white woman who felt she wasn’t her equal:

      “Miss Margaret always made me put my hair up in a rag, say she know coloreds don’t wash their hair, Counted every piece of silver after I done the polishing. When Miss Margaret die of the lady problems thirty years later, I go to the funeral. Her husband hug me, cry on my shoulder, When it’s over, he give me a envelope. Inside a letter from Miss Margaret reading, ‘Thank you. for making my baby stop hurting. I never forgot it.”
      Callie takes off her black-rimmed glasses, wipes her eyes.
      “If any white lady reads my story, that’s what I want them to know. Saying thank you, when you really mean it, when you remember what someone done for you” – she shakes her head, stares down at the scratched table-“It’s so good.” (Pg 260, Callie talking to Skeeter)

      And here’s one, when Skeeter tries to process what the maids have revealed to her:

      Angry stories come out, of white men who’ve tried to touch them. Winnie said she was forced over and over. Cleontine said she fought until his face bled and he never tried again. But the dichotomy of love and distain living side-by-side is what surprises me. Most are invited to attend the white children’s weddings, but only if they’re in their uniforms. (Pg 258)

  10. thanks!

  11. I’m doing a school project for school and I need 10 significant quotes. So far I’ve got:

    “You is kind… You is smart… You is important.”

    “Eugenia, Martin Luther King just invited the entire country to march with him in DC in august. This many negros and whites have not worked together since ‘Gone With The Wind’.”

    Please may you help me!!! Please and thank you

    • Hello portialaryeaadu,

      I took a break from my blog, but I’m back now. I’m wondering if you even have the book, because if you do, there should be no problem finding quotes. However, I wouldn’t use the second one you’ve listed, because that’s an insulting joke, and I don’t think you realize it. There are a number of insults in The Help that you have to be careful of. I’m guessing whoever assigned this book also doesn’t realize Stockett’s novel isn’t truly positive regarding race relations and how African Americans are portrayed.

      My apologies, but this isn’t a site that is complimentary of The Help. You want one of those sites that think the book shows an accurate depiction of blacks, and that there’s nothing to criticize in the novel or the film.

  12. does anybody know when they’re talking about blinding a black man for using a white person’s bathroom?

    • I think you mean Robert, who was Treelore’s friend and Louvenia’s grandson. He owned/managed his own lawn service, but later in the novel he made the mistake of using a public bathroom, only it had no sign up and it was really meant for whites only. He was chased and beaten, resulting in serious injuries. The book says he was blinded in the attack.

  13. What page number is “What if I’m stuck. Here. Forever” from?

    • Hello,

      That’s page 415 (hard copy of the book), where Skeeter is reviewing her resume. She notes how she’s the weekly housekeeping columnist for the Jackson Journal, newspaper editor of the Junior League of Jackson Newsletter, Author of Help, a controversial book about colored housekeepers and their white employers, and then goes on to ask herself, after not hearing from anyone she’d set her resume to about a job:
      But I’ve heard nothing back from any of them. What if I never leave? What if I’m stuck. Here. Forever?

  14. what page is when skeeter talks about how hot it is in Jackson Mississippi

    • Hi Cesarea,

      There are a number of passages where Skeeter talks about how hot it is, can you be more specific?

      For example:

      “The foreman drags a red cloth against his black forehead, his lips, his neck. It is so recklessly hot, I don’t know how they can stand baking out there in the sun.” (Pg 239)

      “I used to walk that hot mile myself, when I was a little girl…” (Pg 61)

      “On a hot September morning, I wake up in my childhood bed…” (Pg 70, start of Chapter 6)

      “On a hot Saturday in late September, the cotton fields chopped and empty, Daddy carries a new RCA color television into the house…” (Pg 80)

      “I am in the old Jackson kitchens with the maids, hot and sticky in their uniforms. I feel the gentle bodies of white babies breathing against me…”
      (Pg 275)

    • Sorry about that. I meant about the weather and thankfully you hit the nail right on the head. Again I thank you.

  15. Hi! I’m writing an essay about The Help and Uncle Tom’s Cabin for school, and I’m looking for a short quote to use as the headline that will fit both The Help and slavery. Preferably something about skin color. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hello Sine,

      Thank you for your question.

      Unfortunately I don’t have a short quote, because its much too complicated to sum up a comparison of both novels with a brief quote on skin color.

      I’ll attempt to explain so that it my position may be clearer, and perhaps you can decide what you can and cannot use:

      The Help’s descriptions on skin color, especially those of the black characters are not complimentary. So my advice would be to tread carefully, because unless you understand that comparing someone’s skin color to a roach (Aibileen compared her complexion to that of a roach, and several times in the novel of The Help, the maids skin colors are matched with objects). For example, when Skeeter is the narrator she mentions that her family’s new maid, Pascagoula, is black as night. Skeeter also states that the maids who come to tell their stories are black as asphalt and that Minny is ten times darker than Aibileen, her skin like patent shoes. Stockett, writing as Skeeter, may not have known that her heroine’s observations bordered on offensive. Skeeter was supposed to be more compassionate than Hilly and Elizabeth, yet many times in the novel she comes off just as bad.

      African Americans, especially those brown of skin were made to feel as if our skin color was a negative trait and not something lovely to behold. Kathryn Stockett failed to note the beauty and variety of skin tones in the black culture, and many readers failed to catch it, even though the author was candid in admitting her grandparents raised her in a pro-segregation household during the 70s and 80s, which were the formative years of her life (Stockett was born in 1969, and the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964).

      The closest the novel gets to admitting an African American could be attractive is when Stockett has Skeeter stating that Yule May has a better figure than Hilly. And even though Constantine is said to have light eyes, Skeeter never states that her former maid’s eyes were quite arresting. She simply states that she’d never seen light eyes on colored person, and that Constantine was a good singer and that her voice reminds her of chocolate. And there’s a section when Skeeter is confronted by Gretchen where the character states Gretchen is articulate.

      The same could be said for certain passages in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, whenever a slave is described who does not appear light in complexion. What’s ironic is that The Help was celebrated as a novel which highlighted the inequity and absurdness of segregation, yet the book actually ends up defeating its own premise imho via descriptions, dialogue and passages that insult and demean African Americans on far too many of its pages.

      So while well-meaning, I’d rank The Help along with books such as The Three Golliwogs and other works (Dr. Doolittle, Little Black Sambo, Uncle Remus) which were created under the guise of being entertaining as reading material and sympathetic to the plight of blacks, but use stereotypes and imagery which contradict their goal.

      I hope this helps.

  16. Hi there,
    I’ve just finished listening to the audiobook version of The Help, and I wondered where I could find a certain part.I vaguely recall a section where Aibileen is reminiscing about her white babies and seeing some of them after they have grown up. I believe it was when she had a conversation with a male and the topic of it being strange that they loved their maids especially when young but they eventually had to grown up and conform to segregation rules. Something about how they still did love their black nannies because they raised them but yet they had to treat them differently. Does this sound familiar at all? I have scanned by audiobook but I just can’t seem to find it. Thank you for any help!

    • Hello Marcie,

      There’s a section on Page 91 (hard copy of the book) where Aibileen references seeing Tate Forrest, “on of my used-to-be babies long time ago, stop me on my way to the Jitney just last week, give me a big hug, so happy to see me. He a grown man now.”

      Then a bit later on, after she’s taught Mae Mobley to use the potty, on page 96 she’s on the bus feeling bitter over a spanking Mrs. Leefolt has given Mae Mobley. She thinks: The bus speeds up along State Street and my jaw so tight I could break my teeth off. I feel that bitter seed growing ibnside a me, the one planted after Treelore died. I want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty ain’t a color, disease ain’t the Negro side a town. I want to stop that moment from coming-and it come in ever white child’s life- when they start to think that the colored folks ain’t as good as whites. We turn on Farish and I stand up cause my stop be coming. I pray that wasn’t her moment. Pray I still got time.

      There’s also section where Skeeter uses this premise to convince Miss Stein to take a chance on the manuscript about the maids: “I’d like to write about this showing the point of view of the help. The colored women down here. They raise a white child and then twenty years later the child becomes the employer.” (Pg 105) and Aibileen speaks again about the kids she’s raised on Pg 285. She mentions the Dudley family and how the boy she looked after would get whipped with a rubber hose by his father.


  18. please

  19. pretty please with a cherry on top

  20. Hi! I don’t have a question but I just wanted to thank you for the quotes. I am writing an essay on a shift in power in The Help and this helped me. Thanks :)

  21. what page is this quote on?

    “God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free. And I got to thinking about all the people I know. And the things I seen and done. My boy Trelaw always said we gonna have a writer in the family one day. I guess it’s gonna be me.”

    • Hi Madison,

      That whole section isn’t in the book. It was created for the movie. I have the screenplay of both the second draft of the novel and also the final screenplay used for the movie.

      Here’s a screen grab of the scene you mentioned:

      Last scene per the screenplay of the Help

      Here's the entire passage you quoted:

      Last scene per the screenplay of the Help

  22. hello, what page in hard cover is this quote?

    “Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, “Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?”

    • Hello Lauren,

      That’s on page 63 of the novel (hard cover). Constantine is giving thirteen year old Skeeter advice after Skeeter cries over a boy’s cruel words to her (he called Skeeter ugly).

  23. Hello, we were just wandering if we could use this website as a source for our project. Our team also had doubt on Stockett’s novel just like you, and on this website, there are not only similar opinions but also new, critical and creative criticism of the book which we can learn from a lot. Our project is to find the errors from the book the Help and To Kill a Mockingbird and the point is white authors portraying African Americans wrongly; from their perception. We guarantee that we are going to state the reference clearly. May we use this website please? We will wait for your response:)

    • We’re the highschool students from South Korea and the project is for the Research Essay Contest.

    • Hello Merrae,

      As long as you cite and give proper credit to the associated quotes and links I’ve listed on here from other people, or if you wish to use some of the opinions I’ve listed, that you link back to this site, then I’d be more than happy to help you offer balanced criticism of this novel.

      If you have a specific question about the time period, let me know.


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