Essay Sample on Relationship Between "the Help" and Psychology

Published: 2023-01-10
Essay Sample on Relationship Between "the Help" and Psychology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Racism Discrimination Movie Stereotypes Relationship Social issue
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1290 words
11 min read

Psychology is considered as the overall study of human behavior, mental process and even interaction with the social world and the environment at large. The film, on the other hand, is the human behavior which is relatable but in this case, it is projected onto a screen. The ability that is increased in analyzing the various components of psychology that exist in a given film enables the student to understand the movie in a more profound aspect. The ability to identify multiple elements of psychology in a given video is essential since it equips the students with useful tools of not seeing a movie just for the purpose of entertainment but as a source of material that portrays the various human behavior that exists around us (Forgas & Moylan, 1987).

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Films tend to be a medium which is regarded as being highly popular since it is a multibillion-dollar industry where it reaches to a broad audience. Henceforth it becomes an essential point of view in covering psychology whereby it circulates on the various existing human behaviors around the world. Within this paper, we are going to discuss the various ways the movie The Help has been essential in uncovering the different aspects of psychology that are portrayed by the overall human behaviors within the characters (Trivers, 1971). The various existing psychological theories that have been employed in class will be studied through the use of the movie The Help.

The movie The Help can be defined as a film that is heart-breaking and tends to portray high varying emotions to the audience yet is a timeless and valuable story that concentrates on the ability of the society to create change. The movie is set on the rampant discrimination that was taking place in the United States in the 1960s whereby African Americans were still considered as slaves within the South. The movie focuses on stressing topics of racism, discrimination, civil rights affairs and the injustice of the white-black relations that was taking place in the south. In the movie, we are introduced to two restless black maids Aibileen and Minny in Jackson, Mississippi who were going through hardship and violence in their daily activities. We are also introduced to a lady known as Skeeter who played a significant role in bringing change to the society by writing stories on the various challenges and hardship that black maids go through under the supervision of white privileged individuals. She was a heroine among the African American maids since her writings enabled the women to come out strongly and reveal to the world of the inhuman act that is done to them.

Within the film, we are introduced to a group of misguided white women whereby they openly voice the agitating and rude opinions without even caring. For instance, when they are invited to a particular party, they claim that they cannot use the same bathroom that has been used by a black person for fear of getting infectious diseases. The reason why the author Skeeter was able to understand the situation that black maids go through is that she was raised and taken care of by a black nanny Constantine Bates, and she was able to identify how good she was but how rude she was treated. Within this movie we are introduced to a world whereby women dominated the homes and men dominated the political arena; men are almost nonexistence within the film apart from being violent brutes. For instance, Leroy Jackson who is Minny's husband beats her up just for his pleasure. While activists are actively aiming for the national scale to bring down the injustice to black maids, the white misled group of women of the Jackson town are hardly campaigning for each household to be equipped with a classy separate bathroom that will not be used by black people. These are some of the problems that arise from the movie.

Altruism can be described as the act of not being interested and having selfless in relation to the well-being of other individuals (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003)., within the film The Help the act of Altruism has been portrayed by quite a number of characters and mainly the white women from the South. For instance, Hilly Holbrook's maid, Minny Jackson tends to disobey Hilly's order of no using the Family bathroom, during a violent thunderstorm, Minny uses the bathroom since going outside would be dangerous for that given moment, and this makes Hilly to fire her. Later we see Minny been beaten up by the husband as her friend Aibileen is listening through the phone.

Also, another instance is when Hilly's new maid Yule Mae asks for a loan of $75 to finish up for the tuition money they have been saving to send their twin sons to college. In return, Hilly tends to reject the application by saying it is a Christian thing not to give her the money since God does not give out charities to individuals who are well and are able. Mae finds a ring within the house which she hopes to sell to get the extra money for his sons' tuition fee, but when Hilly finds about this, she calls the police on her at the bus station where she gets arrested. For the case of Hilly, I would highly recommend that she considers employing Reciprocity-Based altruism whereby she can give benefits to the people who work for her upon conditions of receiving the interest that has given out. If Hilly were not rude to Minny, Minny would not have baked a chocolate pie out of her faeces, also if she had given Mae the required loan Mae could not have taken the ring that she found.

Within the film, we are introduced to individuals who are egocentric whereby they tend to view their opinion to be superior to any other person. For instance, Skeeter comes out as an outspoken activist condemning the evil acts done to black house helps by the white-dominated society, and she goes ahead to writing a book about it which is centred on Jackson, Mississippi. On the other hand, Hilly confronts her since she knows that Skeeter is an author at Junior League Newsletter and asks her to consider the sanitation initiative that she was fighting for in the society. To Hilly addressing her sanitation agenda in relation to including extra bathrooms in households is crucial than the inhuman mistreatment that is done to the black maids within these households (Taylor, 2011)

The main problem that is explained by Hilly and most groups of misled white women in Jackson is the treatment of cross-cultural variation in altruism. According to these women, since a black person does not share their culture and are not of their race, they tend to mistreat them so that they can feel superior about their given culture. The best approach recommended for such altruistic action is Empathy-based approach whereby Hilly can contain her opinions and at least recognize the feelings, emotions, and hardship that black maids go through to offer better services to the white people. Putting one's self in another person's shoe makes you have a better understanding of what the person is going through and is one of the best ways to get rid of the character of altruism (Niemiec & Wedding, 2013).


Fehr, E., & Fischbacher, U. (2003). The nature of human altruism. Nature, 425(6960), 785.

Forgas, J. P., & Moylan, S. (1987). After the movies: Transient mood and social judgments. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 13(4), 467-477.

Niemiec, R. M., & Wedding, D. (2013). Positive psychology at the movies: Using films to build virtues and character strengths. Hogrefe Publishing.

Taylor, Tate. The Help. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2011.

Trivers, R. L. (1971). The evolution of reciprocal altruism. The Quarterly review of biology, 46(1), 35-57.

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