Eric_W’s review of The Help > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen I find many of these comments quite interesting because I don't think the book is about black maids at all.

This review pretty much covers the way I feel about the book except for the above line, because I saw the black maids as central to the story, at least, theirs was the only story I wanted to get to...Skeeter for me was the least interesting character. It is fascinating to gauge the reactions on goodreads-people who hated or loved the book and saw the maids as central, people who hated or loved the books and saw the white women as central, people who hated or loved the book with Skeeter as central...

So...whose story told through whose lens...and then the reader has their own personal lens to look at the lenses of the book through...


message 2: by Jen (last edited Sep 09, 2011 10:16AM) (new)

Jen And my personal lens includes a grandfather who worked for this company and happily sold different policies based on race until he retired.

http://articles.philly.com/1988-02-15...

This same man thought of joining the KKK and then decided not to (I don't know why-he was I'm sure a fit)and because of that decision, had a cross burned in his "white" yard. The man's child saw it- how could he not- it was Christmas Day and he wanted to see if family were arriving yet- and that child was my father.

I have no idea what my lenses looks like because I can't take them off. But I'm a little afraid of what my eye exam results would be because I'm sure a different prescription is needed for my kind of myopia.


message 3: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W Jen wrote: "And my personal lens includes a grandfather who worked for this company and happily sold different policies based on race until he retired.

http://articles.philly.com/1988-02-15......"


I think that's what makes this book (perhaps all good books) so interesting, i.e. they create a prism through which we can see different things based on our own experience. I should have qualified my statement a little. It's certainly about the maid experience as well. I was responding to the viewpoint of some reviewers that the author could not authentically replicate the maids' experience. Others talk about her growing up in the sixties, an impossibility because she wasn't born until 1969, so she's writing historical fiction, but doing it very well, I think.

I listened to the book; my wife read it in print. She found the way the dialect was written somewhat hard to get used to. The audio is read by two black actresses (for the maids) so it seemed quite natural to me.

Another thing I found quite interesting was the inherent conflict between love and disdain.


message 4: by Jah (new)

Jah I like this review a lot! It must have been cool to read since you experienced wars yourself.


message 5: by Cecily (new)

Cecily As a white Brit, born slightly after the time of the book, I can't comment on the accuracy, but I certainly didn't interpret the portrayal of the maids as demeaning - although the book certainly portrayed the many demeaning ways they were treated then.

I found your comments on the role of religious groups in the civil rights movement interesting, too. Thanks.


message 6: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W Cecily wrote: "As a white Brit, born slightly after the time of the book, I can't comment on the accuracy, but I certainly didn't interpret the portrayal of the maids as demeaning - although the book certainly po..."

Yes, absolutely. The maids are definitely the heroines and the white mistresses the demeaned ones. That's why the comments in the of the other reviews startled me.


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