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2011 Montly Selected Book > March 2011-The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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message 1: by Amanda (last edited Feb 23, 2011 10:14AM) (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
The Help by Kathryn Stockett will be our first book to read for the month. Feel free to start commenting.

Discussion Questions

1. Who was your favorite character? Why?

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?

3. Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter— and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?

4. How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?

5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?

6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?

7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?

8. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?

9. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?

10. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white?

11. What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?


message 2: by Rasier (new)

Rasier the help. never heard of it.


message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
It was on the NY Times Best Sellers list. Not sure for what year. But i hope you get to pick up a copy and join in with discussions.


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Meyer (amandarenay18) it's on my to-read list, I'm looking forward to reading it.


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
that is great. That is good to hear.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
I cant get over how the servants would raise all the children. I cant imagine someone else raising my child.


message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?

Personally i think racism is taught. With people that raise you they raise you or at least try to raise you with their beliefs and depending on what era we are talking about those kinds of values are instilled in the youngs mind. Children are constantly being told what to think when growing up and if you are around it enough you start beliving in it. I know my grandparents thoughts on the subject which i was raised by and its all about how we want to please our guardians(people who raise you).


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white?

Maybe in some areas but not as much anymore because what were called slaves are probably more like nannys now a days. maybe not exactly that segregated meaning they have to use different place settings or different bathroom but same principle applies. Taking care of the children meals cleaning.


message 9: by Nannie (new)

Nannie Bittinger | 5 comments Amanda wrote: "I cant get over how the servants would raise all the children. I cant imagine someone else raising my child."

Amanda, thanks for inviting me to this group. I just get a lump in my throat hearing the way poor Mae Mobley is treated by her mother. I do wonder what the women did all day with absolutely no work in the home to do and not even having to care for their own children. Well, I know they did benefits, talked about their hair, clothes, etc. & shopped but wouldn't that jus drive you crazy after a while? I don't work outside the home but we've always done our own home renovation and landscaping as well as raising our own children. Just can't fathom being that UN-busy. I'd need psychiatric care...even more than I do now..lol.


message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) | 65 comments Mod
Nannie wrote: "Amanda wrote: "I cant get over how the servants would raise all the children. I cant imagine someone else raising my child."

Amanda, thanks for inviting me to this group. I just get a lump in ..."


Nannie thanks for accepting. I know it’s very hard to take in how she is treated like she is a pest and most children I think were treated like that back then. They were produced just to take on the last name and make babies. I mean it’s weird to think that this servant is raising your child. When their employer had such a problem with blacks doing everything else (using the wrong bathroom, not teaching the children manners, shopping in a black grocery store) then they get jealous when the child pays attention to their servant than to the actual parent. I know I am a woman and to be honest I hate to shop and do the "girl" thing all the time. I could not imagine not working and just doing all those things. Then again I didn’t come from wealth so maybe there is a difference there. Those women didn’t have to worry about a thing. Really what worries did they have? HAHA I agree.


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