Character List and Analysis
Skeeter's childhood friend who is consumed with making her home look nicer than it is. She seems to have little interest in being a mother and is annoyed by her own daughter, Mae Mobley. Elizabeth cares about appearances and will do anything to protect her reputation.
Mae Mobley Leefolt
Elizabeth's child whom Aibileen calls "Baby Girl." She yearns for her mother's attention but is rejected and turns to Aibileen for comfort. Mae Mobley is confused by what she sees in her loving Aibileen and what she is told by her teacher Miss Taylor, who says black people are beneath white people.
Successful businessman and Jackson native. He is Hilly's ex-boyfriend. He married Celia because they thought she was pregnant, but he is now an attentive and loving husband. He seems to love Celia for who she is and cares little about keeping up appearances.
Minny's abusive husband who is often drunk. He reigns over their house with threats and violence.
Skeeter's overbearing mother who is losing a battle with cancer. She reinforces the ideas of what it means to be a white Southern woman. She tries to control every aspect of Skeeter's appearance and her life but her efforts backfire.
The Phelan family's previous maid. She raised Skeeter but was fired while Skeeter was away at college. Constantine gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, who turned out to be very fair skinned, and gave her up for adoption.
The Phelan family's current maid.
The good-looking son of a state senator. He is Hilly's husband's cousin. Stuart's heart has been broken by a promiscuous Southern belle, but he finds room in it for Skeeter until he discovers that she may support civil rights.
Senior editor with Harper & Row, Publishers, in New York. She is stern and honest with Skeeter about the writing world, and she reluctantly guides her career.
Church friend of Minny and Aibileen. Her grandson is beaten and blinded for using a white bathroom in town.
Hilly's maid. She attended Jackson College and is now saving to send her twin boys to Tougaloo College.
Constantine's daughter. She was born fair enough to pass for white even though both of her parents are black. Constantine decides the pressure of trying to raise a light-skinned child in a black community is too much; and to assure Lulabelle's future, she drops her off at an orphanage when she is four years old.
Mae Mobley's preschool teacher. She is racist and teaches the children that black children are not smart enough to attend school and that black faces are dirty and bad. Aibileen tries to counter the message for Mae Mobley with kindness and love for all people, regardless of skin color.
Another member of the Junior League and friend of Elizabeth and Hilly. Louvenia is her maid and Lou Anne, who suffers from depression, swears her gratitude and devotion to her for helping her through her illness. She crosses Hilly and surprises Skeeter, who mistakenly assumed Lou Anne was just like the rest of Hilly's crowd.