THE HELP

Audio-book Review
By Chet Yarbrough
(Blog:awalkingdelight)
Website: chetyarbrough.com

The Help
By Kathryn Stockett
Narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin,  Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell

KATHRYN STOCKETT (AMERICAN AUTHOR)

Ms. Stockett does not engage readers or listeners immediately. However, after three chapters, it seems impossible to stop reading or listening to the help.

One surmises that a white person raised in Mississippi in the sixties is offended by Kathryn Stockett’s recollection of her southern upbringing. A northern white person that lived through the sixties, particularly in small town (mostly white) USA, feels like a voyeur in the kitchens and living rooms of a closely knit southern community.

The binding of Ms. Stockett’s southern community unravels with interviews of black neighbors that reveal their roles and experiences as “The Help” for white Mississippi families. Anyone that lived through the sixties or read about the Black Panthers, Medgar Evers, or Martin Luther King  knows this is a difficult and tumultuous time in American history. Stockett reflects on changes that were occurring on a smaller scale in the homes of black and white Mississippian’s.

MARTIN LUTHER KING (1929-1968)

Big and small influences on southern race relations are concretely revealed in Stockett’s book. She shows the influence that black nanny’s had with children of white families by telling the story of A-B’s (Abileen, a black nanny) relationship with Mae Mobley (a pre-school child of a middle class white family). A-B makes up stories to tell Mae Mobley, like the story of “Martian Luther King” to explain there is no difference between white and black people, except for the color of their skin.

Stockett may dwell on the inequity of white and black existence in the south of the 1960s but her book is not a vilification of Mississippi but a reflection of how trapped human beings become by the influence of their neighbors and by the economic condition of their lives.

MEREDITH MISSISSIPPI MARCH (The Meredith Mississippi March was named for James Meredith, who in 1962 became the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi. In 1966, Meredith, then a law student, led the march from Memphis, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., to encourage African-Americans to register to vote.)

This is a wonderful book to listen to with narrators that bring its characters to life. Stockett helps listeners understand how ambivalent, sometimes intransigent, human beings become when equality of opportunity is denied based on differences of color, economic circumstance, educational accomplishment, or place of birth.

This is a story about the disease of poverty and slavery; how freedom and equal opportunity are antidotes for the ill; i.e. a story that resonates with truth in the American north as well as the south.

Views All Time
Views All Time
Views Today
Views Today
(Visited 8 time, 1 visit today)

5 thoughts on “THE HELP”

  1. Don’t make a comment for 30 days and you will be removed from the notification list. Sorry for the inconvenience-it is caused by revisions to the article.

  2. Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness for your submit is simply great and that i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to seize your feed to stay updated with forthcoming post. Thank you one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  3. Great post, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!|What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & assist different customers like its aided me. Good job.

Always good to hear from you!