The Help (a novel)

The premise of this book answers to the dilemma of civilization, which is one that is all too complicated to accomplish without some form of acceptance of all that is, along with a devout dedication to understanding, no matter what the barrier may be.

Characters aside (and there are many), the details come across as a series of very touchy subjects:

– civil rights in the deep south,

– children raised by caregivers, not parents,

– women in the workplace rather than volunteerism (or not);

– unhealthy white attitudes of distinction leading to degradation of family values,

– etc.

It’s a funny book, written in a light-hearted, flippant manner… which is good, except that I was then not prepared for the introduction of the classic and devastating blows delivered through hatred. I felt the author was writing from an ‘idea’ of health and healing, reaching toward a place for personal wellness. For me, though, I felt heartsick on occasion, and that the writing was sugar-coating the issues for dramatic-effect and Hollywood attraction.

Still, it was a worthy-read.

I found it interesting that the author provided levity in the character of Celia Foote. She being the sore thumb of the project, the town floozy in pink sequins. She gives the reader relief from the sympathetic guilt of involvement. Celia is the nod to the little white girl’s dream of the enchanted life. The Cinderella, relieved of burden by the much-sought prince. She delivers the message of moral, that this story is the same. Although the fairy tale may exist, the ugly step-sisters continue to ruin your day.

Skeeter (I woulda stuck with Eugenia, myself), is the other questionably moralistic primary character. She wrote the book on integration, and also on self-control. She seems the guilty conscience of this book’s theoretical viewpoint.

Page 325, « …a special round of applause for the help. » Words that resounded, « help » apparently meaning service, not assistance, at least in this instance.

Help, is the question, not a good answer. Help provides support to the needy, indifference to the wicked. (You should learn something from a book.)

Happy reading!

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