Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Help: Part One, chps 1-9

Wooo, Alice posted her comments (click below) so now I can post mine.

So! I'm enjoying the book so far! I am intrigued, intrigued I tell you, by each of the three main characters; although the present-tense and switching of narrators I find mildly tedious. Then again, I am very grateful that the entire book isn't written in dialect, so there's that. I'm enjoying the book so much I actually read ahead, but before I crossed the threshold of chapter 10 I made some notes which I shall now share with you all (oh goodie).

Does anyone feel like there are some super easy targets in this book? How cliche is it that all the white mothers are cruel and unfeeling?

I have an issue with the Mister Johnny plot. If Mister Johnny is such an old time Southern boy, why on earth would he be shocked and offended that his wife has hired a maid? Wouldn't he expect it? In fact, wouldn't he have made sure his wife hired someone? I get Celia's motivations in wanting to hide it, but I don't quite get why Minny goes along with it. She seems so savvy, she must realize that Mister Johnny must have an inkling of what's going on, right? And that he must be ok with it, right? Why does she (Minny) think she's actually in hiding from Mister Johnny? Maybe this is just a case of my failing to understand an irrational situation.

I wonder if the book will address Skeeter's Miss Myrtle shenanigans, namely the way she mindlessly uses Aibileen for her own ends and doesn't even pay her. Will Skeeter start to feel guilty? Will someone call her out on it? I don't know who could exactly, but... someone. Maybe she'll become more self-aware.

Finally, I will simply say: I feel for Skeeter and her tallness.


  1. Skeeter tried to pay her in the assigned reading! She explained that!

    Also, I don't know if you covered this in your comments, because I could be misinterpreting something, but maybe Celia misrepresented herself to Johnny re her housekeeping prowess, and now she's generally terrified because she knows he already gave up a lot socially to be with her. I love Celia. LOVE. But yeah, it's weird that he wouldn't just hire her a maid, especially with a house that big. I assume that mystery gets cleared up later.


  2. In the South of that era, the men didn't have much to do with the hiring or maintaining of house help. It was purely domestic issues and therefore the domain of the wives/women.

    I think the main reason Minny was scared of Mr. Johnny is because she knew he dated Hilly for a LONG time and no kind, understanding man would do that. Therefore, she must hide from him because if he came home and found an unknown black woman in his house he would fulfill his own stereotype by shooting first and asking questions later.

  3. he dated Hilly for a LONG time and no kind, understanding man would do that -- YES. Ok, this makes sense to me now.

    Skeeter tried to pay her -- after the fact. Jus' sayin'.


  4. Look at Emily bein' all smart and helpful.

    SO cute. And I almost lost it when this happened:

    "She turn from the birdbath and smile and holler, 'Hi, Aibee. I love you, Aibee.'"


    By after the fact you mean she didn't discuss some kind of compensation thing with her beforehand? It seems that wasn't DONE, Julie.

    Also, we should watch this when it comes out on DVD. Which is apparently in December.

  5. I feel sorry for Celia, so I kind of don't question her motives for stuff, which is bad and wrong probably, but she's just so... hapless. And I'm down with the 'Johnny is crazy because he dated Hilly' thing, seems a fair enough explanation to me! Also, I think they have to have some really really horrible white women, just in case we didn't grasp the inequalities that exist in the Mississippi society. Like I said in my recap, (recap? It's not a review, but I don't know what to call it hehe) about as subtle as a bag of bricks in the face...