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View Diary: My Thoughts On "The Help" (236 comments)

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  •  Looks like I should read the book then. It sounds (7+ / 0-)

    more interesting than the movie.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 10:56:40 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It is much richer... (9+ / 0-)

      I've not seen the movie but yes, I always read books before seeing the movie.  It feels in so much more than what Hollywood captures.  

      I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

      by princss6 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 11:03:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just got my copy in the afternoon mail. (4+ / 0-)

        I had not heard of either the book or the movie til I saw it
        see-ing it discussed here.
        I would rather read the book,then see the movie-I have always found it so much more textured.
        I also think all the discusions I have read here,of this book will enrich my reading of it.

        Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

        by swampyankee on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 01:54:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't slight her... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blindyone, swampyankee

          on the texture in the book.  I'm withholding final judgement until I'm finished reading it.  We can compare notes when you are done!  :)

          You might beat me because I only read on my commute!  

          I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

          by princss6 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 03:17:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would enjoy that. I have'nt started it yet- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            princss6

            A friend is coming over to watch a movie she has'nt seen yet,but I have,so I shall start it then.
            I hope I have enough sense to put it down and go to sleep when I start getting cross-eyed!

            Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

            by swampyankee on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 05:10:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, definitely read the book (9+ / 0-)

      I've read the book and liked it, haven't seen the movie yet.  In the book Abilene actually does write out her own stories.  Even though it is fiction written by a young white women it does inspire curiousity and discussion about that period of our history and how dangerous it was for black men and women to speak out.  Even if imperfect, it's a way to make the period alive for those who didn't live through it.

      •  Skeeter empowered Abilene to write (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        This is a much stronger theme in the book than it was in the movie.

        At one point, Skeeter recognizes that Abilene is a more constant writer than she is.

        That in the 1960s it would have taken a white woman to pull all the stories together and get them published is something I can entirely believe.

        "He not busy being born is busy dying" -- Bob Dylan

        by Kascade Kat on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 12:01:35 PM PDT

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        •  Hmm... (11+ / 0-)

          I know this diary is about much more than the book or movie so I don't want to sidetrack it but, it is a little more nuanced than that.  Abilene wrote everyday.  Skeeter got the idea to write the book because Abilene told her about her son writing about book about his experience of being a black man in MS.  This was inspired by the book, The Invisible Man, which the son had read.

          The other black women joined as a result of Hilly getting another maid sent to prison for stealing a ring so she could send her twin boys to college.

          My take - Skeeter empowered herself to look under the lid of her world.  Abilene's son inspired both Skeeter and Abilene to write a book about the life of blacks in Mississsippi.

          I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

          by princss6 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 12:25:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes read the book too (7+ / 0-)

      There are slight differences in the plot line a bit too....(I won't give them away)

      I just saw the movie yesterday with friends and the make up of the audience was similar but there were some men...?spouses? And in the group I went with, none of  us had help ...ever in our lifetimes...but  perhaps we're from a different region of the country and perhaps a different socioeconomic demographic too ?

       I think there was a greater ability in the book that expanded upon the time it took to get Abilene and for that matter all the other maids to finally talk to Skeeter, and the extent they went to not get caught talking to each other...because they were so fearful of the retribution that might come from it not only from the community, their families, but because of the nature of the era (Jim Crowe-KKK) in the deep south.

      I came away from both with many insights that I did not have prior to reading it a few months ago or from viewing the movie yesterday. Mostly my own ignorance of the era, and the time (especially that region). So in that sense I appreciate that "The Help" educated me in many ways...and opened my eyes to what it was like during that era ...unfortunately.

      I truly think  the Minnie character  was excellent (she was also a victim of domestic violence/abuse from her spouse) . And I like how it portrayed her as the true brains of the group...figuring out their insurance policy for when "The Help" was published by anonyous in their community.

      I wonder if there are individuals around now, similar in age to one of Minnie's daughters who was one of "the help" (she was around 14 during the early 60's in the book)  to discuss it truly from that perspective...and not through the author.

      "So don't call Obama a moderate. Don't call him a centrist. Don't call him a blue dog. Call him what he is...a Republican." OPOL

      by emal on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 12:11:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read this... (12+ / 0-)

        I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

        by princss6 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 12:27:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)

          I saw reference eluded to this above ..but didn't see any links.

          "So don't call Obama a moderate. Don't call him a centrist. Don't call him a blue dog. Call him what he is...a Republican." OPOL

          by emal on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 01:10:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I did. Intense and unsettling.n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diogenes2008, princss6, sberel, evergreen2

          Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

          by swampyankee on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 01:56:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (6+ / 0-)

          Now that was a good read.

          I also saw Professor Perry on Twitter, the night she live-tweeted "The Help". I know some here might not appreciate her take on it, but I did, wholeheartedly.

          By the way, the characters in "The Help" are not entirely fictional.

          From "The Grio":

          But this story's success has sparked some questions -- and recently, a lawsuit. Last week, Ableen Cooper filed suit against famed author Kathryn Stockett claiming that the fictional character "Aibleen Clark" is based on her. Cooper, a 60-year-old black woman who has worked for decades as a maid in Jackson, Mississippi, may be shaking up the fate of The Help.

          The lawsuit states that Stockett's inability to admit that Aibleen's character is actually based on the story of Ableen Cooper, "is so outrageous in character, and so extreme as to go beyond all bounds of human decency, and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community." Cooper still works as a maid for a relative of Stockett, and says she was approached years ago about being depicted as a character in Stockett's novel. She replied, she says, with an adamant "no."

          Stockett wrote the book anyway, made a mint... and guess who got nothing?

          And from "The Indypendent":

          But if Skeeter raised money through writing and gave it to the maids, real life Stockett failed to live up to her fictionalized self. She was sued for $75,000 by Aibleen Cooper, the maid of her brother for taking her name and biographical details to create the character Aibileen Clark in The Help. Aibleen and “Aibileen” share a name, a gold tooth and life-events but Judge Tomie Green dismissed the case because it was filed after the one-year statute of limitations. Outside the court, Cooper aimed her disgust at Stockett. “She’s a liar,” she said. “You know she did it and everybody else knows she did it!” So much for life imitating art.

          "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

          by Diogenes2008 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 02:29:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)

          It had been referenced elsewhere, but without any link. Very interesting and eye-opening dialogue continuing in that blog post. It also led me to another book to search out when the budget permits.
          When Race Becomes Real

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