Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Help

I really enjoyed The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is set in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960's during the civil rights movements. It is about the relationships between African American maids, or "the help", and the white families that they work for. It was troubling, touching, funny, and thought provoking. The only thing that I disliked was the occasional use of foul language.

Here is a quote from Kathryn Stockett about The Help:
"I don't presume to think that I know what it really felt like to be a black woman in Mississippi, especially in the 1960s. I don't think it is something any white woman on the other end of a black woman's paycheck could ever truly understand. But trying to understand is vital to our humanity. In The Help there is one line that I truly prize:
Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separated us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.
"I'm pretty sure I can say that no one in my family ever asked Demetrie (our family maid) what it felt like to be black in Mississippi, working for our white family. It never occurred to us to ask. It was everyday life. It wasn't something people felt compelled to examine.
I have wished, for many years, that I'd been old enough and thoughtful enough to ask Demetrie that question. She died when I was sixteen. I've spent years imagining what her answer would be. And that is why I wrote this book."


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