The Silence in Society as Depicted in Montana 1948, The Help and Others

March 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

The power of voice is an important idea that influences change. This idea is displayed through many different types of texts some of these being Hidden Figures a film directed by Theodore Melfi, The Help another film directed by Tate Taylor, Montana 1948 a short novel written by Larry Watson, and Still I Rise a poem by Maya Angelou. The theme of the power of voice to influence change is an important issue to those people in society who suffer in silence and are afraid to speak out about it.

Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi based on a true story set in the 1960s about three African American women that share their own unrecognized accomplishments for NASA. In the film, the main character Katherine is given the opportunity to work with the space task group. The space task group is dominated by white males who don’t approve of her being there.When she first enters the group she is shy, independent and not confident and is thought to of been the custodian.

Later in the film, we see Katherine breaks down into tears after being questioned by Al Harrison (her boss) about where she was going every day, which leads her to release her anger and struggles just to get to the bathroom. The scene is displayed with various camera angles containing reaction shots and over the shoulder shots showing the colleagues in shock. This scene is important in the sense of the film as it shows Katherine speaks up for herself and her rights. This scene is what leads Al Harrison to make a change for what’s right and acting against racism by taking down the sign saying colored. We see Katherine’s personality change and see that she gets acknowledged and respected for what she does. Hidden figures and The help are very similar movies that show two characters Katherine and Aibileen speak out for change and characters like skeeter and Al Harrison help them do this despite the consequences and others’ thoughts of Africain Americans.

The help directed by Tate Taylor a film that shows a girl returning from college, Skeeter with a dream of becoming a writer who ends up interviewing black women who spend their lives caring for white families. During the movie, we see how under-appreciated the help is. Also how disrespected especially Minnie one of the help who is treated poorly towards by Hilly Holbrook a white lady who likes to control her with power. With this we see the help fight back through being interviewed by Skeeter and sharing their own stories and treatment by white families. Their stories help them to gain justice. This shows the help having a voice the book becomes sold out,With many people eager to read it and hear what that had to say. Towards the end of the film when Celia’s husband helps Minne with the groceries shows a change in the views of the ‘help’.Which she feels unusual as she now values and respected her work. In the movie, Hilly Holbrook makes life hard for the help with the same thing happening in Hidden Figures by Paul Stafford who does the same thing to Katherine when she first joins. With these two characters, they help represent traditional values and unrespected treatment of native Americans during this time as they make lives worse standing by their minimum rights.

Montana 1948 is a short novel which is a reflection by a 52-year-old David Hayden from when he was 12 living in Bentrock after WW2 were he and his family find the truth about his heroic uncle Frank molesting Native American women from the reservation. Wesley David’s father is a character who creates change for the Native Americans as speaks out and acts upon what should be right. Wesley characters start writing off Native Americans where he is viewed racist towards them saying ‘there lazy superstitious and irresponsible’ and is loyal to his family. When he investigated the case his personality changes were he ends up seeing native Americans equal. He sees the fact that Frank needed to be dealt with, especially after Marie’s death. His character changes for the better as he isn’t as loyal to his family and more towards serving justice for natives. Where he is not influenced by what his father Julian has to say and he goes off instinct of what’s right. This shown through his actions of locking up his brother in his basement where he commits suicide. All his life Wes had been in the shadow of his brother and now he was the one standing up being a true hero even though being hated by this family. Wes’s character is the main character in Montana 1948 which relates to other characters in different texts especially Skeeter and Al Harrison in The help and Hidden Figures. Because they try to create change in others and stand up for what’s right, even if it is against the law.

Still, I Rise is a poem by Maya Angelou that is empowering which talks about struggles with prejudice, identity and overcoming them with perseverance. The poem is written as pleading and light of hope for those seeking a voice of change.It also highlights sexism and racism faced and how she sees everyone being the same ‘but still like air, I’ll rise ’. The problem faced is not being equal and she speaks out about it to try to be heard. The poem is like a beacon of hope to African Americans and women fighting for their rights and change. It also talks about the abuse of power and about her past being the hope for them. She speaks about rewriting history and how willing she is to take a stand no matter the consequences. The poem is similar to what Katherine says when she speaks out in Hidden Figures during an outburst scene where she speaks out against racism and sexism by her colleagues.

In the four texts power of voice is a key idea that has influenced change to key characters. As each character and person speaks they stand up in their own way using their voice and say to put their stories and opinions out there. They all speak out about their rights and treatment. The texts show how powerful the voice can be and how to speak out can make a big difference.Where they speak out against laws of being “separate but equal” as they aren’t getting the same treatment.With these characters standing up for what they want and believe they should have.


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