Caroline's Reviews > The Help
Sep 22, 2009
I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book; I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters (especially the African American ones) very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character. I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 1960's, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time; but, ultimately, I thought that it was written from a very narrow, idealized, almost childish perspective of race relations without a true appreciation of the humanity and soul of the characters. And the ultimate theme & message (i.e. "why, we're all the same - there's no difference between us after all!") only reinforced my feeling that this is written from someone who has a very undeveloped or underdeveloped concept of race and race relations in the United States. The author would benefit from exploring authentic African American voices (Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou) and understanding the scope, range and (most important) the foundation of the emotions genuine African American characters express as a result of their journey as a people in the US (hope, frustration, drive, passion, anger, happiness, sadness, depression, joy).
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September 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
September 22, 2009 – Shelved