The Help The Help discussion


132 views
The Help

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)    post a comment »
dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Caleesha (new)

Caleesha I believe this book was inspirational and uplifting to all. The book really grasped the race factor that was present during that time period. It shows the perseverance, the risks, and the final glory of the African Americans in the book. All in all, it was a great book and I encourage others to read this life changing novel.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Why did you post this? I don't see a discussion at all. This is something you would put in a review. What would you like to discuss?


message 3: by M (new) - rated it 4 stars

M Why be mean about it Eva? I could see a discussion in this if somebody had a different opinion. I can't really say either way. I really liked it and liked the different views but I wasn't even close to alive then so I'm hesitant to immediately say it represented it well.


Jeni I commented a while back on this and I think I can put it here for sake of discussion. I would like to preface this by saying that I really liked the book-a lot. The comments below are just my realism kicking in.

"I loved this book, but objectively, it's a bit trite to think a story about a group of working-class African-Americans triumphing over snotty, white superiority of the South in the 60s makes everything all right. It makes people feel good, like it will erase the wrongs done to our fellow human beings.

In reality, this book makes a striking point that for every one person oppressed, there were 20 behind them, equally oppressed. For each person that gets their due, hundreds more do not.

There is no equality in this book, only rebellion and a cry for help from people that are judged daily by others who think they are better than everyone else.

The lesson of this book, in my opinion, is to make people stop and actually listen to others. It doesn't eliminate the racial inequality of the times it represents and it doesn't eliminate it now.

It helps to give that inequality a voice. We have a long way to go until that voice is as loud as the one suppressing it, though."


Maria Eva wrote: "Why did you post this? I don't see a discussion at all. This is something you would put in a review. What would you like to discuss?"

Seriously? Well, if you don't see a discussion, BYE!!!

I enjoyed the book - but agree with Jeni - it's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There were/are way more Miss Hillys than Skeeters around who would not have given the "Help" a voice and would continue to oppress them.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Mackenzie wrote: "Why be mean about it Eva? I could see a discussion in this if somebody had a different opinion. I can't really say either way. I really liked it and liked the different views but I wasn't even clos..."

I was not being "mean." I was asking her what she would like to discuss. She didn't post a question, just her opinion and a recommendation for a book. She wasn't "discussing" anything.


Nola Eva wrote: "Mackenzie wrote: "Why be mean about it Eva? I could see a discussion in this if somebody had a different opinion. I can't really say either way. I really liked it and liked the different views but ..."
I agree. I think were just supposed to discuss our views on the book, though.
On that note, i adored this book. It was just a great thing to write about, people like Skeeter as supposed to Hilly, and the road to integration as our country witnessed it. Especially the south.


message 8: by Ashleigh (last edited Jan 09, 2013 02:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ashleigh This book touched me, as did the movie. The way the black maids were treated is just how blacks, coloureds and Indians were treated in South Africa during Apartheid. I've read about both situations and heard my parents stories and it still upsets me that people can think that way, just because of a different skin colour. Underneath we are all the same. I'm not sure if we will ever get a book similar to this set in South Africa, but these sorts of books like The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird are real eye openers and personally I see nothing wrong with integration and even though I have heard and read the reasons and explanations will never be able to comprehend why people are so racist - to me it just seems a little ridiculous to hate on people because of silly differences like skin colour or where they come from.

Having said all that, I have met some African women and they have been the nicest people in the world. They are friendly and happy and have these huge smiles that just light up everything.


Nadosia Grey Not only was it glorious for African Americans but it was just as much powerful to the equality of women. Throughout the book Minny is constantly subjected to abuse from her husband and the only way to avoid it is to have another child. At the end she liberates herself. She reminds me vaguely of the some of the characters from Morrison's The bluest Eye.


message 10: by Pat (new) - rated it 1 star

Pat Maxwell Eva, I disliked the book. Hopefully this will create a discussion. That shit in the chocolate pudding joke is as old as the hills. I was happy to see some jobs for black acters. But for the most part I would love to read a book, see a movie etc. that had black women in some other roles but maids and cleaning ladies. Right on Kerry Washington in SCANDAL.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

African American women are in plenty of movies and books, and are demonstrated as powerful, independent, wealthy women and good for them! Actually, many white girls are being portrayed as trashy sluts. I think our society needs books/movies like The Help. People need to be reminded that there was a time when discrimination was extremely prevalent. There still are people that hold prejudices against other races, and that is ridiculous. Our president is African American, for Heaven's sake.

For argument's sake, The Help was stereotypical. There were the rich white ladies, the loud mouth black women that cooks fried chicken and uses Crisco, etc., etc. But, through these stereotypes a message was given out. Also, you have to realize that stereotypes stemmed from an actual characteristic. The author lived in this situation, she was a part of this society. She isn't just writing this out of the blue.

I liked the help, but that's my opinion, others are perfectly welcome. We all have freedom of speech. ;)


Donna Eva, I agree with a lot of what you said, and Jeni, I appreciated your point about everything not being all tied up with a bow today. Racism still exists, and in the public school system, many Caucasian teachers don't understand why African-American kids seem to hate them on sight before they've said a word. There's an anger that's still alive today, and for good reason. But I liked the book (and okay, the movie) because there are some Caucasian folks out there who live in entirely White neighborhoods and don't see people of color except as service people for short periods of time. I think in such cases, the book may make people think twice about their assumptions about contemporary issues, too.

My own family is multi-racial. I have no idea what it is like to be Black, because I am not, but I have had glimpses when I see how wait-staff, store clerks and others treat me (middle-aged, middle income, White), and then their eyes change as they cut over to my youngest son (African American, urban, twenty-something). They probably don't even know their faces change. He's polite, clean, & speaks standard English, but their eyes change without him saying one single word.

Most Caucasian people in the Western world don't have that sort of experience. It helps to live in a diverse neighborhood, but there is still tension in many places, and I think now it is maybe worse in the north, where nobody was required to integrate anything. So if The Help causes those who are advantaged to look a little deeper, then it is worthwhile.


Maria I grew up in the South of the 1960s (and lived in Memphis when Martin Luther King was killed). I very much enjoyed The Help as a story. It brought back a lot of memories. Yes, it is somewhat stereotypical of that time - but it's also realistic. As a novel, it isn't meant to be taken as a statement on race relations. However, I thought it was a fairly accurate portrayal of what can happen when one group sees itself as superior to another.


message 14: by Pat (new) - rated it 1 star

Pat Maxwell I must start out by saying that I respect everyone's opinion of this book. I feel I am a voice in the wilderness. Believe me-- if THE HELP helped white people and black people chip away the "Berlin" wall that divides our races----I shout-- GIVE IT THE PULITZER PRIZE.

Most all of the white women I know in my still apartheid hometown (southern Illinois) loved this book. I guessed that they liked the white woman's role as hero in this book assuaging their huge but mostly unconscious guilt. But I do not KNOW.

However, Maria, I must disagree with you. I think that the book's implied statement of race relations is the heart and soul of it's mass appeal ---particularly to multitudes of white women.


Linda I loved this book and appreciated from a journalism point of view. It kept me on tender-hooks because of the risks they were taking to have their say.

I felt the main character wanted to write about how much she loved her nanny and wanted to give accolades to the black woman who gave so much to the white children and were great woman but treated like crap and put aside once the child grew up.

It showed to the rest of the world (not everyone lives in USA) how difficult the right to "freedom of speech" is to obtain.

In New Zealand relatively speaking "Freedom of Speech" is taken for granted. I feel this book reminds us all to safe guard our rights to be able to speak out.


Donna Linda wrote: "I loved this book and appreciated from a journalism point of view. It kept me on tender-hooks because of the risks they were taking to have their say.

I felt the main character wanted to write ..."

YES!


message 17: by Anny (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anny Well, I like this book a lot. I learned more about the discrimination and how bad it can be (cried quite a bit reading it).

Then I decided to check the reviews in the Amazon and was quite surprised to find that some reviewers (Africans IIRC) claimed to hate this book with passion. Mostly their arguments centered around the fact that the writer did not put enough research, basically write the whole black point of view from her memory only (again without proper research), stereotyping the blacks (accent and demeanor) and lastly having the white saves the blacks.

This is not my opinion and I'm just repeating what I remember reading. I don't intend offend anyone at all and I deeply apologize if I did.

I'm not trying to start a hate war, I'm just simply stunned by the hate/hurt/anger that I saw in those posts. Is there really still that much bad feelings among them (black and white)?

P.S. Again I apologize if using the term black and white is considered derogatory, I don't know what better term to use


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Pat wrote: "I must start out by saying that I respect everyone's opinion of this book. I feel I am a voice in the wilderness. Believe me-- if THE HELP helped white people and black people chip away the "Berl..."

Pat, while I enjoyed The Help (and I am white, and a female) I do agree with you that the target audience for this book was white women, especially white, Southern women. Much like Skeeter's book in the novel, this book had the same effect, hopefully. It made white women realize that they weren't superior and that they should think of themselves as black women's equal. I don't know how large the impact of this book was, but regardless it had to change someone, and sometimes one person is better than none.


message 19: by Pat (new) - rated it 1 star

Pat Maxwell yes, yes, yes, Eva.


Penny You have hit the nail square on the head there Eva. You got your discussion after all!


back to top

all discussions on this book | post a new topic


Books mentioned in this topic

The Help (other topics)