Sparrow's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Oct 21, 12

bookshelves: abandoned, reviewed, disturbing, punching-tour
Recommended to Sparrow by: Linda Harrison, Gibney
Recommended for: read Coming of Age in Mississippi instead, please
Read from July 20 to 25, 2010

I have this terrible, dreary feeling in my diaphragm area this morning, and I’m not positive what it’s about, but I blame some of it on this book, which I am not going to finish. I have a friend who is mad at me right now for liking stupid stuff, but the thing is that I do like stupid stuff sometimes, and I think it would be really boring to only like smart things. What I don’t like is when smart (or even middle-brained) writers take an important topic and make it petty through guessing about what they don’t know. I can list you any number of these writers who would be fine if they weren't reaching into topics about which they have no personal experience (incidentally, all writers I'm pretty sure my angry friend loves. For example, The Lovely Bones, The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants, Memoirs of a Geisha, etc.). These are the books for which I have no patience, topics that maybe someone with more imagination or self-awareness could have written about compassionately, without exploiting the victimization of the characters. They’re books that hide lazy writing behind a topic you can’t criticize. The Help is one of these.

You’ve got this narrative telephone game in this book. The telephone game is pretty fun sometimes, and it is really beautiful in monster stories like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights because what they are telling me is not intended as trustworthy or earnest. All of the seriousness in monster stories is an impression or an emotion reflected back through the layers of narrative. I don’t feel that way about the topic of The Help, though. In this book, a white woman writes from the point of view of a black woman during the Civil Rights movement, who overhears the conversations of white women. It's an important topic, and I don't want to hear it through untrustworthy narrators.

So, I can basically get on board with the dialect of the black maids, but what throws me off as a reader is when the black maid is quoting the white women and they’re all speaking perfect English without a trace of an accent. It becomes particularly weird when one of the black maids starts to comment on the extreme accent of one of the white women, Celia Foote, whose written dialogue continues to be impeccable. Who is this narrator? Why does she choose not to speak proper English if she can speak it? Why does she choose to give proper English to someone else who she has told me doesn't speak it? Also, usually the layers of narration in a telephone-game book are only within the book. In this case, it’s the author’s voice stabbing through the story. I am convinced it is her whose brain hears the white woman speaking TV English, and the black women speaking in dialect. It gives away the game.

Even the quotes from the movie have an example of this. A conversation between her and Minnie goes like this:

Celia Foote: They don't like me because of what they think I did.
Minny Jackson: They don't like you 'cause they think you white trash.

Celia speaks in a proper sentence, but Minny misses the "are" in the second part of the sentence. Celia says "because," but Minny says "'cause." If the reader were supposed to understand that Celia does not speak in dialect, that would make sense, but since it specifically states that she does, it doesn't make sense.

To attempt to be clear, I didn't have a problem that the book was in dialect. I had a problem that the book said, "This white woman speaks in an extreme dialect," and then wrote the woman's dialog not in dialect. Aerin points out in message 111 that I am talking about eye dialect, which is about spelling, not pronunciation, as in the example above. Everyone, in real life, speaks in some form of non-standard English. Though I have seen some really beautiful uses of eye dialect, as Aerin points out, writers typically use it to show subservience of characters or that they are uneducated, which often has racist overtones. If it troubles you that I'm saying this, and you would like to comment on this thread, you may want to read other comments because it is likely someone has already said what you are going to say.

I’m not finishing this one, and it’s not because I think people shouldn’t like it, but rather because I’m almost 100 pages in and I can see the end, and it’s failed to engage me. When a few IRL friends have asked what I thought of the book and I said I didn't care for it, they have told me that I am taking it too seriously, that it is just a silly, fluff book, not a serious study of Civil Rights. Again, I don’t have a problem with stupid books, but when it’s a stupid book disguised as an Important Work of Cultural History, all I want to do the whole time is tear its mask off. And a book about Civil Rights is always important cultural history to me. Anyway, the book becomes unpleasant; I become unpleasant; it’s bad news. If you loved this book, though, (or, really, even if you hated it) I would recommend Coming of Age in Mississippi. I think that book is one of the more important records of American history. Plus, it’s beautifully written, inspirational, and shocking. It's been years since I read it, so I might be giving it an undeserved halo, but I can’t say enough good things about it.

INDEX OF PROBLEMS WITH THIS REVIEW

"You should finish the book before you talk about it": comment 150 (second paragraph); comments 198 and 199.

“Stockett did experience the Civil Rights Era”: comment 154; comment 343.

“The author of The Lovely Bones was raped”: comment 190.

“The author of The Kite Runner is from Afghanistan”: comment 560.

"Memoirs of a Geisha is accurate and not comparable to The Help": comment 574.

“Don’t be so critical!”: comment 475.

“Have you written a bestseller?”: comment 515.

“Fiction doesn’t have to be a history lesson”: comments 157 through 162.

“Having grown up in the South during this era and having had a maid, I could relate to the emotional nuances of this book”: comments 222 and 223.

"Minny and Aibileen are relatable": comment 626

“You are trying to silence authors”: comment 317 and comments 306 through 316.

“Why do you want to read a Civil Rights book about racism and hatred? I would prefer one about friendship and working together”: comment 464.

“Why are there so many votes for such a half-assed review?”: comment 534.

“Authors can write outside of their personal experiences”: comments 569 through 587.
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Reading Progress

07/24/2010 page 63
14.0% "This feels really Ya Ya Sisterhood to me. I don't know if I should give up or not."
07/25/2010 page 85
19.0% "Not for me." 2 comments

Comments (showing 101-150 of 754) (754 new)


message 101: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth i have read this incredible list of reviews. there is a vernacular in every part of this country. generally, i would think the author writes what she or he knows. i speak differently with coworkers than i do with customers. there is a difference in familiarity. i speak freer with good friends than acquaintences.

pardon my take on this, but a simple, good fictional STORY has gotten blown out of proportion. can any one of you who have written about this book honestly tell me you have experienced ANY kind of persecution? either personally or via your relatives? i have, in many different facets of my life.

i have been heavy all my life and the fat girl always get picked on.

i am jewish and in the 70s when i took off from school for two of our most holy days, rosh hashana and yom kippur, they were considered unexcused absences.

in the 60s there were still signs outside of some jersey shore motels that read "no jews or blacks allowed". at least we had company in that one.

being divorced was no picnic either, my married girlfriends not knowing how to deal with me and getting excluded from gstherings.

meredith, i respect your review and feelings but a little tolerance can go a very long way.


message 102: by Aerin (new)

Aerin *headdesk*


message 103: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow I'm sorry for your experiences of persecution, Beth, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I would be surprised if you felt as mildly about those experiences as the ladies in the book seemed to about theirs, but I guess everyone reacts differently to those things.

Again, I didn't have a problem that the book was in dialect. I had a problem that the book said, "This white woman speaks in an extreme dialect," and then wrote the woman's dialog not in dialect. I'll try to edit that in the review to make it clearer. I think it comes from the assumption that white people speak "correctly" and black people don't. If it doesn't come from that assumption, I think it at least promotes that assumption. I have a problem with that assumption.

I'm not sure if you're saying I should be more tolerant of negative assumptions about minorities. If that's what you're saying, I'll respect your opinions, but I don't agree.


message 104: by Shana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shana I just purchased this book and will begin reading it this evening so I have not read the dialogue to which you are referring to when you speak about the Black women speaking both proper and improper English. I just feel compelled to offer an explanation on the most likely reason that the book was written this way. Speaking from my own studies in Graduate school of culture and race relations, I know that it was very common for Black people of that time to never speak proper English in front of the Black community. If they did so, they were criticized by their peers for trying to sound or act too "White" and it was seen as not showing pride for African American culture. Speaking like the White people meant trying to fit in with Whites and only served to alienate a person from the Black community. Another illustration of this is given by Anna Jean Mayhew in her novel The Dry Grass of August. It is a great novel on a similar topic and the "house girl" also switches her speech when she leaves her employers home and rejoins the Black community.


message 105: by Aerin (new)

Aerin I think the point Meredith is making is not that it's objectionable when Black characters speak in non-standard English, it's that the speech of Black characters is rendered in an eye dialect, while the white characters' speech is not. Eye dialect has to do with spelling, not grammar, and is a specific choice the author makes - having the characters say the exact same thing with correct spelling would not change the content of the dialogue.

So although everyone's pronunciation differs from English orthography to one degree or another, eye dialects in literature are typically only used for the lower classes or racial minorities. Which has racist and/or classist overtones. As Wikipedia puts it:

Eye dialect is often employed when authors wish to establish a sympathetic sense of superiority between themselves and the reader as contrasted with the non-standard speech of the character. Such spellings serve mainly to "denigrate the speaker so represented by making him or her appear boorish, uneducated, rustic, gangsterish, and so on". "The convention violated is one of the eyes, not of the ear".

It's ironic that in a book specifically focusing on racism, the author chose to render the Black characters' speech in eye dialect.


(Meredith, correct me if I'm way off here. I just see people getting hung up on the "dialect" thing again and again in this thread, and seemingly missing the point completely.)


message 106: by Sparrow (last edited Jul 19, 2011 06:55AM) (new) - added it

Sparrow Thank you, Aerin. Yes, that is what I'm referring to. I definitely agree that people of any skin color speak differently with friends, employers, etc.. The interesting thing to me about this is that we are in the black characters' heads when they switch back and forth (in the sense that it's first person POV). So, in the black character's own head, she relates everything in eye dialect except for white people's speech, even where she states that the white people speak in an extreme dialect.


message 107: by Miriam (new)

Miriam can any one of you who have written about this book honestly tell me you have experienced ANY kind of persecution? either personally or via your relatives? i have, in many different facets of my life.

i have been heavy all my life and the fat girl always get picked on.


Wow, Beth, that's so rough how you are the only person on goodreads who has experienced persecution.


message 108: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow hahaha. awwww. Maybe she just thought I would have identified with the book if I had problems in life, and since I didn't identify with the book, I never experienced problems? It does get to my competitive side, though. Like, I was soooooo more persecuted than you! Time to chill out when I get competitive over forms of persecution.


message 109: by Robin (new) - rated it 1 star

Robin Thank you for your review. I felt the same way you did, but as a black women, my book group felt that I took the book to personal. Truth be told most of the black people I know where insulted by the book. I have been to the south and I could hardly understand both races, but in this book all whites had perfect kings English. And all white men where loving men, and all blacks where abusers and drinkers. I do get that the writer was trying to be sensitive to the black maids but she let hidden prejudice about black men come out. I just hope people don't use this book to explain how the south was.


message 110: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Thanks for commenting, Robin. I've heard a lot of stories about white women being pretty intense with black friends about this book. I think that's really unfortunate, and it even freaks me out a little bit.

I completely agree with what you're saying. I know Zora Neale Hurston was really ostracized for criticizing black men during the Harlem Renaissance, but I feel like that is really different than this book. I don't think that was fair, even though I understand the justifications for the ostracism, because I think the way she did it was specific and spoke to her particular experiences, and then she has men like Tea Cake in Their Eyes Were Watching God, and he's a swoon and a half. Anyway, the Help is so different from that because it goes so far beyond the author's own experience to use those stereotypes. I think it would have been an exponentially better book if it was all from Skeeter's point of view.

I agree, though, that the stereotypes seemed really assumed, rather than intentional.


message 111: by Lacey (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacey I don't understand why anyone would write a review on a book they haven't read.


message 112: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Well, in my case it was so I would remember why I didn't like it and so that I wouldn't go back to it in the future. I think that's pretty typical.


message 113: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Yeah, it was Aerin! I had never heard it before either, but it makes sense.


message 114: by Maria (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maria Writers do research for their books and that is why it often becomes a success, merely a proficiency of research. If writers wrote only about what they know, we would not have science fiction and that by itself is a whole genre. Now you are going to tell me that “The Help” is pretending to be something it is not and that is why you keep calling it stupid. Well, it is a novel. It clearly states that it is nonfiction. If you read anything about the author and her reasons for this book, you would know that she had a maid as a child who passed on tales of her parents and grandparents onto Stockett. So, “The Help” is actually an effort to pass on a story rather than give people inaccurate history. And to come back at you on the dialect topic, you have it completely wrong, perhaps because you are only on a page 100.
“So, I can basically get on board with the dialect of the black maids, but what throws me off as a reader is when the black maid is quoting the white women and they’re all speaking perfect”
Actually, the maids talked like that because that it how they identified rich people and that is what was understood. They did not have to mention one white person yet the church knew who was talked about. It is African-Americans perhaps dare I say belligerence of “back in the day.” They believed that speaking proper is what contributed to riches in a white race. Oh, and perhaps they did not speak proper English between themselves because that is how they were raised and taught and speaking proper required effort not because they did not know how to.
So my question is to you, why the end you can so clearly see failed to engage you?
And this is a spoiler, Elizabeth’s daughter, May Mobley, does not tell her parents all the secret race discussions she and the maid had. Instead she points her finger at her grade school teacher, understanding that she is racist and that it is wrong. The book that was written eventually got the maid fired, but she was happy because of what raising a child has done to her. She enjoyed May Mobley so much and was so proud of her that it gave her strength to start new.
She loved a white child who loved her back. How is this racist? How is this telephone game?
Well, I just hope you give a try. I really enjoyed your input on this and by the way , I have enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha and The Lovely Bones.


message 115: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Maria wrote: "So my question is to you, why the end you can so clearly see failed to engage you?"

Well, it sounded like everyone ends up realizing just how silly race relations are and the poor, little black people become really grateful to the white people for what they've learned, and everyone holds hands and skips for a while. I mean, it's been a long time since I wrote this, and even when I wrote it, I couldn't remember what I had read about the end, but it sounded real jolly and camp-firey, which really rubs me the wrong way when it comes to a book about Civil Rights. It sounds both trite and boring, where I think Civil Rights is neither trite nor boring.

I'm not calling the book stupid as an insult, actually. That is what my friends who really loved it kept calling it to me. They would say, "Oh, it is just a silly, fluff book, and you are not enjoying it because you are taking it too seriously." So, I'd compare it to Twilight, which I really enjoyed. Twilight is a stupid book, but it makes sense to me to write a stupid, fluff book about vampires. That is what vampires are there for, as far as I'm concerned. It does not make sense to me to write a stupid, fluff book about Civil Rights.

I don't know what this means: It is African-Americans perhaps dare I say belligerence of “back in the day.”

It is not my experience with other books by black authors that they purposely write dialogue of black people in eye dialect and white people in plain English.

I'm not surprised that you would like the other books. You should try Water for Elephants. It's pretty similar to those, too.


message 116: by Maria (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maria Meredith wrote: "Maria wrote: "So my question is to you, why the end you can so clearly see failed to engage you?"

Well, it sounded like everyone ends up realizing just how silly race relations are and the poor, l..."


I can see so much clearly now where you are coming from! I think Stockett played on civil rights but she just used it as a setting.She really wanted to focus on collectivness of the maids and their friendships. :) Twilight is a stupid book , but I like it because you are so right that it does make sense to write something silly about vampires.


message 117: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow I'm glad that made more sense!


message 118: by Shana (last edited Jul 26, 2011 07:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shana I have to disagree about everyone holding hands and skipping at the end. One of the maids that told her story ended up in jail and one ended up losing her job. I think the most important part though, was that the book showed the very real and harsh consequences of White people that stood up for civil rights. This woman lost every single one of her friends, her fiancé and was completely shunned by her community. I actually don't think this book was stupid or fluff at all. I believe that it did exactly what a book should. The story certainly entertained me, but I also learned a great deal about civil rights as well. I ended up researching certain events that I read about in the book, such as the murder of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers, the integration of University of Mississippi, and the disgusting words and actions of former Mississippi governor Ross Barnett. Stockett portrayed all of these events exactly as they happened. Even more importantly than this though, is how the book challenged my own previously held beliefs about friendship and family. I haven't read many books that discussed the personal repercussions of a White person standing up for civil rights and maybe I'm naive, but I was shocked that women that have been best friends for over 20 years would turn against one another and break up such a long friendship because one of them wanted to stand up for civil rights. It got me thinking about which relationships in my own life would withstand my passionate beliefs about the issue of civil rights and if I would even have the conviction to challenge every person in my life if it meant I would be left standing all alone in the end.


message 119: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow I'm glad it was a good experience for you, Shana. And that's really great that it got you to look up the events.


message 120: by Maria (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maria Shana wrote: "I have to disagree about everyone holding hands and skipping at the end. One of the maids that told her story ended up in jail and one ended up losing her job. I think the most important part thoug..."

you read my mind here- "Even more importantly than this though, is how the book challenged my own previously held beliefs about friendship and family. "


Karefraz You know I once wrote a paper in college on why I disliked a piece of southern literature we were assigned to read. I got an A on the paper because I showed that I had read and understood the intent of the piece. Perhaps I would respect your opinion more if you had actually read the book.


message 122: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow hahahaha! Awwww, man! I don't get an A on this paper? Shucks.


message 123: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Yeah, but I'm still totally pissed at the grade I got in this class. I was told I could skimp on the reading and still get an A! Last time I listen to RateYourProfessors.com.


message 124: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Wow, you got really different info than me. Next time, I'm totally taking that Ulysses class. I heard you only have to read, like, a third of the book.


message 125: by [deleted user] (new)

Meredith wrote: "Wow, you got really different info than me. Next time, I'm totally taking that Ulysses class. I heard you only have to read, like, a third of the book."

That's what I did. Word.


message 126: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow With Prof. VirJohn, right? And, he's the one who's really patient about explaining tautologies as though they are some sort of hieratic truth?


message 127: by [deleted user] (new)

Very patient. And his aesthetic sense is so generous and understanding. It was an amazing class.


message 128: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Okay, good. Because I'm pretty worried about my GPA at this point.


message 129: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Don't worry, Meredith! I'll lend you my lucky scrunchie.


message 130: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow The one that helped you pass Spanish after you gave Professor Montoya a lap dance - luckily?! Awww!


Keirstin Brent This review is so true, im kicking myself for actually spending so much time reading this book


Heather Your review makes me wonder where you're from. Flawless English? Really? The accent in the white women was so thick I could hear my grandma in it in parts.


message 133: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Really? That's interesting. I'm from the Pacific Northwest.


Heather Meredith wrote: "Really? That's interesting. I'm from the Pacific Northwest."

Maybe it was just how I read it, but yeah. I'm from Missouri, so it's a big mix of north and south right here (I mean, during the civil war, NEIGHBORS were on opposite sides), and my family is from more southern Missouri (I'm from northwestern) so I heard quite a bit of a mixed hick-to-southern accent, depending on just how FAR south, lol.

My husband's from the Pacific Northwest, so I wonder if he'll read it more like you did.


message 135: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Well, I mean, I'm only talking about the way the words are spelled. Like Aerin was saying, I'm trying to say that what I read of the white women's dialog was not written in eye dialect. It's been a while, though, so I don't think at this point I could have a very educated conversation about it.


message 136: by [deleted user] (new)

http://newblackman.blogspot.com/2011/...

I don't know if this link will work, but I hope so. This article mentions the problematic eye dialect, as well as other issues.


message 137: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow There is also an entire website dedicated to all the problems with the Help, including that one. I forget what it is. Somebody linked it in her review. I also forget who that was, so . . . you're welcome.


message 138: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you!


message 139: by Jamie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jamie I got too bored with your commentary to read the whole thing...but I just wanted to say that I think it's unfair to judge the book as "stupid" because other people have brought it to the level of an "Important Work of Cultural History", as you state. The author wrote a book of fiction, and it should be accepted as such. It's not her fault people want to elevate it to another status. If you don't like the writing style, the story, etc. that's fine. But to be upset about a book because other people make it into something it wasn't intended to be, really isn't fair to the author.


message 140: by Jamie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jamie Also - if you're going to get this worked up about a book, you should at least finish it!


message 141: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 18, 2011 07:57PM) (new) - added it

Sparrow I was actually trying to express what I think you're saying - that when I told my friends that I wasn't going to finish the book because I find it offensive, they would say, "Well, it's just a stupid fiction book, and you shouldn't take it so seriously." (see also message 123.) I don't think anyone has told me they think it is an Important Work of Cultural History, but I think Civil Rights is by definition Important Cultural History. It's true, though, I think if people were going around saying this book was important, I would be more disturbed. Maybe they are, and I'm just avoiding that.

I think the last time I finished a book because someone said what you're saying, it was Wild at Heart. Did not end well. I'm usually pretty good at feeling out whether a book is for me or not by 100 pages. It's too bad that the notes, which I initially wrote to myself to remind me not to finish the book, were so boring to you, but thems the internets I guess.


message 142: by Buck (new)

Buck Jamie wrote: "Also - if you're going to get this worked up about a book, you should at least finish it!"

Great advice! Except, if you're going to get this worked up about a book review, shouldn't you at least finish it? Cuz, you know, otherwise the irony might be incredibly hilarious.


message 143: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 19, 2011 12:41PM) (new) - added it

Sparrow Buck wrote: "Cuz, you know, otherwise the irony might be incredibly hilarious."

!!!


message 144: by Stacey (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stacey I feel you should probably research your authors a little better before you pass judgment. I believe as someone already mentioned that the author grew up much like the Skeeter character giving her some insight. An I believe there is a similar situation with the author of Kite Runner.


message 145: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 20, 2011 04:23PM) (new) - added it

Sparrow So, I agree that it probably already was mentioned, but Stockett was actually born in 1969, so she missed the Civil Rights Era. While I think it's pretty clear from both The Help and The Kite Runner that the main characters are supposed to be stand-ins for the authors, I think both are fundamentally dishonest about the central experiences in the books. The Kite Runner takes the horrifying gang rape of a little servant boy and makes it about the petty inconveniences suffered by his rich friend surrounding the rape. The Help takes Civil Rights and makes it about how sweet white women can be. I think this is at the very least bad writing, but, as this thread shows, it is difficult to criticize the two books because they are about gang rape and Civil Rights, which are in many ways untouchable subjects.

The link Ceridwen posted probably says it better, so I am going to post it again, because I think it's amazing: http://newblackman.blogspot.com/2011/...


message 146: by Alycia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alycia I thoroughly enjoyed the book. In my mind the entire time when picking up the book was that it was fiction. I didn't go into the book thinking I was going to get a history lesson, but it was a good read and well written as a first book for the artist. I get the views of people who didn't like the book, and it is all personal preference. My only thing that I think that needs to be mentioned is again that it is a work of fiction. No one is saying this is a first hand account of what really happened in that time frame. yes dialect should have been better, but for overall effect of a fiction novel? To me I gave it 5 stars. It was thoroughly engrossing.


message 147: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow So, just out of curiosity, do you feel like you have any expectations, with historical fiction, for an author to be faithful to a sense of the history s/he's writing about? I tend to avoid historical fiction in general because I do, often, care about inaccuracies in the general feeling of the "historical" part. I think it's pretty easy to cloak douchebaggery with history, and I don't really get that. Like, in this book, why not pull this out of history and make it about black nannies and maids today? I'm sure there are still black women who care for children or clean houses, just like there are white women who do that. I think the only difference, if you were to write it today, is that it the historical element gives this impression that while the mammy stereotype is not accurate now, it somehow was then.

Anyway, that's my take on historical fiction, but I know some people don't feel like it's harmful to be inaccurate about history, so maybe you feel like that?


message 148: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow I agree. And, at the same time, I think there is value in not trusting most sources of historical information. But, when I see a version of history that seems basically false on a human level, it bugs me. I think Austen and Woolf are good examples of how douchebaggery has kind of stayed the same throughout the centuries. And Homer, even.


message 149: by [deleted user] (new)

How about how the author of The Help was sued by the woman who raised her, for misrepresenting her character? I don't think this woman will win the suit, because on some level fiction = lies, but I don't have to respect when fiction = lies.


message 150: by Sparrow (new) - added it

Sparrow Well, yeah. I'm more thinking, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Also, I don't think the fiction=lies thing should give people an open-ended invite to be a jerk. Actually, though, if it was some kind of memoir, where Stockett was like, "No, seriously, I had this weird black maid growing up who suffered from serious Stockholm syndrome, and all she did was think about white people all the time," maybe it would be more readable. Probably not.

Also, I used your fundamental dishonesty™ phrase.


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