The Help

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Stuart Whitworth, Jr. Character Analysis

The son of a prominent segregationist senator, Stuart courts Skeeter throughout the novel. Stuart’s recent break-up with his fiancé Patricia shakes him to the core, making him drink heavily and insult those around him. What depresses Stuart the most is the shame he feels for breaking-up with Patricia in order not to hurt his father’s political campaign, showing that he values what his parents think of him over the possibility for love. But Stuart is also kind, providing support and motivation to Skeeter to keep writing. Ultimately, however, he’s too invested in the racist status-quo of Mississippi to see the value of Skeeter’s book and breaks up with her because, once again, he fears it may hurt his father’s political ambitions. Still a loyal man, Stuart does not tell anyone about Skeeter’s book.

Stuart Whitworth, Jr. Quotes in The Help

The The Help quotes below are all either spoken by Stuart Whitworth, Jr. or refer to Stuart Whitworth, Jr.. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Berkley Books edition of The Help published in 2009.
Chapter 28 Quotes

“Why would you want to go stirring up trouble?”
I can tell, in his voice, he sincerely wants an answer from me. But how to explain it? He is a good man, Stuart. As much as I know that what I’ve done is right, I can still understand his confusion and doubt.
“I’m not making trouble, Stuart. The trouble is already here.”

Related Characters: Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (speaker), Stuart Whitworth, Jr. (speaker)
Page Number: 449
Explanation and Analysis:

Once Stuart begins to propose to Skeeter, Skeeter tells him the entire story about the book she is attempting to publish with Aibileen and Minny. Stuart realizes that "the talk...in town" about Skeeter's integrationist beliefs is actually true; Skeeter is more than the woman he thought she was. This inspires Stuart to rethink his decision and creates the "confusion and doubt" in his voice. Stuart cannot understand why Skeeter should be involved in the black community's problems.

Although Skeeter does understand, she continues to believe that Stuart is "a good man." She views Stuart as a fine individual, who is merely entrenched in larger structures beyond his control (and, perhaps, beyond his comprehension as well). Skeeter is caught in-between two perspectives; able to understand the culture she grew up in, yet unable to forget the true stories the maids have told her—Skeeter does not quite belong in any community anymore. 

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Stuart Whitworth, Jr. Character Timeline in The Help

The timeline below shows where the character Stuart Whitworth, Jr. appears in The Help. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Racism Theme Icon
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
Hilly calls and says she’s set Skeeter up on a date with her husband’s cousin, Stuart Whitworth – the handsome son of a state senator. She also tells Skeeter to run... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
On the day of the double date with Stuart Whitworth and Hilly and her husband William, Skeeter straightens her hair and buys a nice... (full context)
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
Skeeter meets up with Hilly and her husband at their home. Stuart is already there, two drinks in. He’s handsome and taller than she is. The four... (full context)
Chapter 13
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
...some of Minny’s day-to-day experiences when Charlotte knocks on her door and tells her that Stuart Whitworth is downstairs. Dressed nicely, he apologizes for the date three months ago, saying that... (full context)
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
At the restaurant, Stuart is quiet at first and Skeeter fears he’s going to start drinking again. But he... (full context)
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
...bombard Skeeter with questions about if the rumors are true that she’s seeing the handsome Stuart Whitworth. Skeeter confirms the rumors, thinking to herself how Stuart has made a routine of... (full context)
Chapter 19
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
Stuart arrives at Skeeter’s home and asks her to join him on a three-day business trip... (full context)
Chapter 20
Racism Theme Icon
In mid-July, Skeeter, Charlotte, and her father Carleton arrive at Stuart’s house for dinner with his parents, Francine and Senator Stuart Whitworth. Stuart’s mother gives Skeeter... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
After dinner, the parents retire to the porch for drinks while Stuart and Skeeter stand in the hallway. Stuart is sweating and feverish-looking and complains about his... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Help vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...into Senator Whitworth. Drunk, the Senator takes Skeeter aside and asks if she knows how Stuart handled the break-up with Patricia. When Skeeter says she knows that he was very upset,... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Freedom Theme Icon
On the back porch, Skeeter takes Stuart asides and confronts him about what happened with the break-up. With anger still in his... (full context)
Chapter 21
Racism Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Freedom Theme Icon
For the next two weeks, Skeeter feels so “singed and hurt” from what happened with Stuart that she thinks she might catch fire. She still hasn’t told her parents that she... (full context)
Chapter 27
Writing, Storytelling, and Freedom Theme Icon
In early December, Skeeter looks at the phone, finding herself wishing that Stuart would call. Skeeter hasn’t heard from him for five months. Skeeter picks up the phone... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
...from the meeting, Skeeter wishes she could leave Jackson. When she arrives home, she sees Stuart waiting for her on the porch. He says that he visited Patricia in California. She... (full context)
Chapter 28
Racism Theme Icon
...months to live. Skeeter’s father consoles her as she cries. A couple of days later, Stuart drops by again on Christmas day to try and talk with Skeeter again. Skeeter lets... (full context)
Help vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Freedom Theme Icon
Over the next few weeks, Stuart and Skeeter start seeing each again. Sometimes they go out to dinner, but they usually... (full context)
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
One day, in preparation for a date with Stuart, Skeeter buys some modern woman’s clothing with short hemlines. Stuart takes her to the fanciest... (full context)
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
After they finish eating, Skeeter notices that Stuart’s parents are at the restaurant bar having drinks. She asks if they should go over... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
It’s past eleven when they arrive back at Skeeter’s home. Stuart walks her to the door and then holds out a ring and asks her to... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Freedom Theme Icon
Stuart says that everything is fine in Mississippi and that Skeeter shouldn’t “go stirring up trouble.”... (full context)
Chapter 33
Racism Theme Icon
Gender and the Home  Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Freedom Theme Icon
...but she thinks that if she never wrote the book, she would be married to Stuart, have short hair like all the other women and never wear short dresses. Skeeter goes... (full context)