Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett

I cannot even begin to explain how much I enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's The Help.  While I couldn't seem to put the book down, at the same time, I was absolutely astonished by how poorly people were treated in America just a mere 50 years ago!  It amazes me how far we have come as a society, but also makes me wonder how much more progress can be made in society in the next 50 years as in some parts of the country, the issues surrounding race relations definitely remain to be improved upon.

One of the written aspects of The Help that I sincerely enjoyed was the way that Stockett wrote the story from alternating viewpoints of Abileen, Minny, and Skeeter.  Abileen and Minny being "the help" and Skeeter being a young white woman fresh out of college with hopes, dreams and aspirations for her future that reach far beyond her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.  This writing style truly made the book multi-dimensional, and I absolutely cannot wait to see the movie in order to see if this rings true in it as well (I am going to guess not - the movie is almost never as good as the book!)

What struck me about the story that the reader is told in The Help is that, as I eluded to in my last posting about Winter Garden, this book shows that although society may deem things one way, the "popular belief" isn't always something that one should go along with.  At the heart of this piece of realistic, historical fiction novel is the fact that people should be independent thinkers.  Just because society says that something is so, does that mean that all should go along with it - no questions asked?  I say NO!  Throughout modern history, there have been incidents of prejudice against various groups - blacks in slavery and the Civil Rights movement, Jews in the Holocaust, Muslims in post-9/11 times, etc.  And yet, we as a society just don't learn, do we?  Sure there have been people who have chosen to take the higher road, and think for themselves to rise above the prejudices, but as is the case in The Help, more often than not, those few fail to the thinking of the masses.  Does that mean that people should just give up? I don't think that is so.  Rather, I think more people should fight for what they truly believe in to show others precisely the illogical thinking of their ways.