Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Help

I don't read a lot of fiction, but that may soon change. Though I do prefer my continuing education to be fact-based, there's no denying that fiction has a unique ability to illustrate and communicate ideas that would otherwise be difficult to fully express. For this reason, despite my overwhelming preference for non-fiction material, some of my favourite books happen to be fiction, including Animal Farm and The Goal. I hold Kathryn Stockett's The Help in similarly high esteem.

The author attempts to convey what it may have felt like to live under segregation in the US South of the 1960s, which isn't all that long ago. I believe I learned quite a bit from this portrayal, which follows the interaction of a few black servants and the white families to which they are employed.

What strikes me is how normal segregation must have felt to someone living there at the time. It makes me wonder what goes on in our society today that may feel normal, but which future generations will read about and wonder how we let it happen.

The book was not just illustrative, but entertaining as well. Apparently, the movie is quite good too, so I plan to check it out.

Sticklers will take issue with the fact that there are some historical inaccuracies within the book; there's no denying it. Some were deliberate, and perhaps some not so deliberate. But despite that, I think overall the book does a great job of conveying what it must have been like to live in that region during that time period. It was eye-opening for me, and I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

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