Welcome

I cannot claim to be impartial. But I will try to explore why the novel is so beloved by many, while focusing most on why others view parts of the book as insensitive.

 Okay, I’m writing this up while watching one of my favorite comedies,  “The Hangover”.

 When asked why he’s putting pepper on a raw steak for the tiger trapped in the bathroom, One of the characters replies “Tigers love pepper, they hate cinnamon.”

 The line is so absurd (and funny) and delivered with such assurance, there’s no sense questioning it. And that’s part of my rationale for sticking in the middle on the discussions and debates regarding the book.

There’s no sense dwelling on why some love it and some don’t. It may be worthwhile just to note the reasons why.

 It would also be unfair and highly counterproductive to have this site solely dedicated to bashing the novel (not gonna happen).

Ah well, the best laid plans . . .

The title of this site should be an indication that my blog posts won’t be dedicated to promoting the novel for its ability to bring the races together. On the contrary, after  examining the pages, reading the author’s interviews as well as hearing audio of her mistaken belief that Medgar Evers was “bludgeoned” I kinda wonder how this book got published with so much in question on the pages.

For better or worse, the novel is out there in the market place, with an overwhelming number of enthusiastic fans who profess admiration and love for the story, the characters who seem familiar, and who also have no problem ignoring the book’s flaws (or don’t think the book has any).

 There are also readers who, by their own personal experience, grew up with “the help” and have fondly recalled their time spent with these individuals.

These very real reasons for some enjoying the book cannot and should not be ignored. With that in mind, I will have a listing of reviews complimentary to the novel. Many of these reviews echo the sentiments above.

On the other hand, individuals who’ve read the novel and feel they recognize many of the characters as being all too familiar negative depictions (both the black and white characters) should also be heard.

 And since there are far more reviews and opinions praising the book, I thought exploring the reasons why the novel does not resonate with some readers was a valid starting point. To be sure, these readers are not as numerous as the supporters of the book, but their rationale for not enjoying the novel are none the less valid.

 And if there’s something to be learned by all, this novel may serve as a cautionary tale for new writers. Once the book is published, there’s no turning back. I’ve learned that from just posting items on the internet. Defending your position is much easier if you’ve done the research. If I’ve missed anything, I’m sure a comment will be left pointing it out.

I welcome any and all comments, except for spam comments.

13 Responses “Welcome” →

  1. Susan Cushman

    April 5, 2011

    I found your site through a comment you left on my post at Jane Friedman’s Writer’s Digest blog, “There Are No Rules.” Thanks for commenting there. I would have responded but by the time I saw the comment, comments were closed. I’m curious–I can’t find your name anywhere on this site. Do you teach literature or creative writing somewhere?

    Reply
  2. Hi. I’ve just found your site and am skipping around in it and enjoying it a lot. I thought you might be interested in these sites:

    http://wimsfilmproject.com/
    http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/WIMS/

    These are two websites about a real- life activist group- Wednesdays In Mississippi – in which Black and White women from the north and the south worked together in Mississipi at the exact same time as the fictional activities in The Help.

    If you don’t already know about it, I think you will be fascinated.

    Thanks for this blog.

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa,

      Welcome and thanks for your comment. I do know about WIMS and have an excerpt on their fine work during the 60s on here. What I didn’t know about are the websites you so graciously provided links for. Thank you, that’s the kind of thing I crave and need on here.

      Again, you have my heartfelt thanks for yout post.

      Reply
  3. been poking around the internet trying to find some mention of Minnie’s abusive relationship as a metaphor for the relationships between the races as portrayed in this novel. would welcome any comments, links or whatever.

    Reply
  4. Enjoy your comments on this book – I am currently writing a most severe criticism of the “Mammy” figure in the novel.

    Reply
  5. I am late to the whole Help deal. I just saw movie and didn’t like it.my daughter had the book and I couldn’t even finish it.
    I think many who like it didn’t live during that time and the rest want to rewrite history.
    It’s so awful on so many different levels I don’t even have the words to be able express how wrong this book is.i can’t get the blurbs from the front and back covers out of my head…back cover …hope for a better day…lies don’t bring hope..I know this is supposed to be fiction but it’s not even believable.
    I am so thankful to find this site.thank you for your work.

    Reply
5 Trackbacks For This Post
  1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett | Iris on Books

    […] In the end, these issues were “resolved” by the fact that the story was too engaging to even bother about such questions anymore. Yet, there are those that have taken it upon themselves to deconstruct the book, and show some of the problematic preconceptio…. […]

  2. Clean-Up On “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett | Ghost+Blog

    […] in a Fictional Work.” More recently I twittered upon Onyx M’s blog @criticofthehelp, which illuminates even more problems with the novel. So going into the movie I was prepared to hate it. Somehow, I was surprised. Problems still exist […]

  3. Clean-Up On “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett | Specter Literary Magazine

    […] in a Fictional Work.” More recently I twittered upon Onyx M’s blog @criticofthehelp, which illuminates even more problems with the novel. So going into the movie I was prepared to hate it. Somehow, I was surprised. Problems still exist […]

  4. Clean-Up On “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

    […] in a Fictional Work.” More recently I twittered upon Onyx M’s blog @criticofthehelp, which illuminates even more problems with the novel. So going into the movie I was prepared to hate it. Somehow, I was surprised. Problems still exist […]

  5. Clean-Up On “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett | Specter

    […] in a Fictional Work.” More recently I twittered upon Onyx M’s blog @criticofthehelp, which illuminates even more problems with the novel. So going into the movie I was prepared to hate it. Somehow, I was surprised. Problems still exist […]

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