Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Help

Since I chose this book. I guess I should ask some questions here for people to answer and rather lead a discussion. I think I'll post a few questions in different posts and then to answer you can comment. I also like the idea of everyone putting a review like Mom and Rach have done.

I got a few questions online that seemed rather interesting...

1.Who was your favorite character? Why?

I loved Minny for her attitude. Her point of view always made me smile. I probably enjoyed her the most.
For some reason, I also got a kick out of Celia. I know she isn't one of the main three but I would have liked to read her thoughts. I felt bad for her, but she seemed just so ridiculous. Her clothing, her cleaning and cooking skills... her life, it all seemed a little far fetched but she was treated horribly but the other women (because of Hilly) and felt bad for her.
Skeeter drove me crazy a lot of the time. I haven't quite figured out why. She was courageous in her efforts to change the southern ideal of racism. Her thoughts and ideas were her own and not Hilly's. I loved the toilet drive, it made me chuckle. I admire her for those things, but sometimes I just wanted to punch her for some reason.

2.. What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?

I kind of think this is a silly questions, but I wanted to include it here. Everyone has flaws; some may have more than others. Reading about Hilly's love for her children made her human to me because everything else about her was awful. I was rather glad she had a redeeming quality. Hilly was motivated by power, in my opinion.

Just on a side note... It was scary to me to think that women have behaved like this and still do. A lot of the women in the book were fixed on the idea that "The Help" and other African Americans were simply inferior to them in every aspect (intellectually, behaviorally, spiritually, ect.). They really believed this. In their minds they weren't doing anything wrong because that's how it had always been. It made me think about things I do without even giving my actions a second thought.
Ben and I were talking last night about drinking alcohol and how it is not even considered wrong. At work I read patient histories and they mark how much alcohol they drink and 99% drink at least a few times a week and probably half of those drink daily (whether it is a beer, or a glass of wine, whatever). It makes me feel sad for those who don't have the gospel and feel it is normal to drink and then become addicted. Why put yourself at risk for something that could potentially ruin lives?
Obviously, racism and alcohol are two different things. I just thought it was scary to think that them women in this book really did not feel as if they were doing wrong. Some were able to see the faults of their society when the book was published.

Ok that is all for now. If anyone wants to answer those 2 questions you can comment. I always feel a little apprehensive about sharing my thought for some reason... so don't ridicule them tooooo much or I might be really self conscious. I love you all.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I'm not sure if I was supposed to write a new blog or just respond in the "comment" section to the first post about "The Help." Feel free to direct me....

The Help

I just want to let everyone know that I finally rented Lark Rise to Candleford season 1 and I will watch it this week. the 4th season comes out in the next few months. I will write my book review shortly.

Review of "The Help"

I would also give this book a 4-star rating. Like Rachell, I didn't like the profanity; some of the earthy sexual references, while fairly muted, were also a tad uncomfortable but not so much I found it objectionable. And it took me a couple chapters to pick up the black dialect, but what can you expect from a Midwesterner?

This was a good story. Nicely place humor helped relieve some of the racial-conflict-induced stress, but didn't detract from the overall sobering message of prejudice, segregation and [wo]man's inhumanity to [wo]man (it always seems uglier in women). It is difficult for me to understand that deep division between races.

I also felt some tension personally as Skeeter begins to jettison some of her Southern culture and transition into sandals, short skirts and long, straight hair--symbols of the free-loving hippie culture emerging in America at the same time. Did anyone else pick up on an undercurrent of women's liberation shadowing the main conflict or am I hypersensitive to that?
Whether we're talking about repressed black people or repressed women, it always goes back to individual perceptions and how we pass along our own value system to our children. The sins of the fathers and mothers really are transmitted generationally.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Help

I really liked this book.  I gave it four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I thought the story was engaging, well pieced together.  Sometimes books that go back and forth between different character's points of view can be frustrating to me because they interrupt the flow of the storyline, but I felt that Stockett did a really great job with keeping a good flow of the story going.  I also liked the different characters.  I liked Minnie especially well because of her spice and wit. 

Somethings I didn't love about the book.  First, after studying a little bit about the American South, I find it hard to believe that Skeeter had such an easy time coming into the black neighborhoods.  With more militant black power groups forming during that time, I can't imagine she didn't get more resistance from the black community.  I also find it hard to believe that she was so aloof as to the hostility toward blacks in Jackson, Mississippi, possibly the worst place for blacks to live during that time frame.  However, even though I thought she would probably have been more informed, it did seem very realistic that white women failed to see how their involvement in black people's lives was detrimental to them, a lot.  

I also didn't love the over usage of the Lord's name in vain.  But basically, that was all.  I really did like this book.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hey all- are we still using this blog? If so, we need to start planning a summer visit NOW. Lindsay-any news of if you are coming to the States this summer?