Decided to read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, a novel written from a maid’s point of view and thier relationships with their white bosses. There has been controversy surrounding the premise of the book since this was set during the peak of racial tension, when equality was on the brink of actually happening. Funny how some subjects tend to be taboo. But this is history and there is nothing wrong with hearing from the right side.
I understood every character in the novel, from Miss Hilly, who is quite harsh and bigotted and yet you wonder if maybe deep down, she doesn’t feel a bit guilty about the way she behaves. Upbringing does a lot for one’s thinking and perception of how the world should be. Then you have her friend, Elizabeth, who is a bit depressed and unsure of herself. I kinda think she is more a follower and just feels the immsense pressure to do whatever she is told to do.
Now we come to the “trouble maker” as I like to call her, but in a good way. Skeeter, a thin, frizzy haired young lady, who decides to be daring and interview maids and put those experiences in a book. How forward thinking. She is coming from a family that really and truly thinks better of those who are different than most of the white community in Jackson, Mississippi. The nickname fits her, she’s small in stature but mighty in spirit.
Each character reaches out to the other and in return lessons are learned. Abileen, the maid whose voice is the main narrator, is definitely a wise and wonderful lady. She’s the voice of reason. She calms everyone else down when there’s trouble brewing. She also finds courage through the book to stand up for herself and walk away from her white boss and start all over. The other maids do the same, they find courage and discover changes taking place that aren’t so scary. Their bravery has actually been a positive force in changing in their lives for the better.
Skeeter discovers that it’s okay to move on and break away from the small town and take a risk in new surroundings, that her new found friends will be okay and she doesn’t have to protect them or anyone else. She can stand on her own now. She’s grown up.
Now, I want to end the this with some words that Abileen would tell Elizabeth’s daughter, Mae Mobley,
“You is smart, You is Kind, ..and I believe she also said, “You is important” Yeah, that is how we should all feel, don’t you think? Valued, and treated with respect. Need more Abileens in this world.