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.


  1. Oh Ryanne. I just LOOOOOVE you. I thoroughly enjoyed the book (thanks for the pick) and thought your comments well thought out and enlightening. I know what you mean about being apprehensive to share...I'm a bit intimidated because of the very smart/well read/well spoken women in our family. I too am a bit self-conscious about my poorly written, grammar faulty response. But I guess you'll all love me even if I don't write as well.
    Thanks again for leading the discussion and just being so ding-dang fabulous. Love you!

  2. I know I already commented via a post, but I have to respond to Ry's Thought Questions with my own rankings. At #5: Hilly. Obviously. I'm sure in high school she was voted Most Popular only because everyone was too terrorized by her to do otherwise. #4: Celia. She was an entertaining and kind of mysterious character, and I think just as trapped by her White Trash lineage as were the Help and their color. #3/2: Tie between Minny and Skeeter. I liked Minny's sass but wished at times she'd cut other people--like Celia--a little slack. I empathized with Skeeter's 6-footedness and admired her eventual pluck at getting her book written, but I agree with Ry--something about her was a little off. #1: Aibilene. I think if she were LDS she would fit Pres. Packer's counsel of "look like and groom like and act like an ordinary Latter-day Saint." She was unpretentious but doggedly good in so many ways. As I always do, I wondered how the author would have characterized me had I been plunked down into the middle of that story.

    And now I will quit commenting. For a while. Until someone else's comment provokes a thought.

    Thanks Ry for your comments and questions. Well-done!

  3. I didn't even mention Aibilene, but she was the constant for me in the book. I think I'd get along with Aibilene the best, out of all the characters in the book.

    I think it was interesting that Aibilene was Elizabeth's made because at first both seem quieter than all the rest of the characters. Aibilene had quiet wisdom and Elizabeth was too afraid to make a statement or any comment that would seem to go against Hilly.

  4. @ Ryanne and Lindsay: like you two aren't smart/well read/and whatever else you said. Puh-lease. I love reading your comments.