I really disagree with people who say that The Help is cliché. I’m going to go as far as to say that it offends me when people call this a cliché. Because as someone who has been apart of discussions like the women in this book about racism, no one is a cliché. Maybe people are calling it a cliché because they’re seeing this over and over again. Hopefully, these people will think about why these “clichés” are showing up again and again. Maybe because it happens so much even today without the world really noticing. If you don’t like this book, it’s okay, but please don’t call this a cliché.
At first, this book was a four-star rating. But then, I got to this one page in The Help. It was so normal, though. It wasn’t anything really amazing or anything. But it slapped me in the face. Like, big time.
I ended up sitting there thinking, “Oh my God, could this book have said it in a more simpler way?” No, it couldn’t have.
It was a conversation between Aibeleen and Minny, after someone who was white had tried to attack Minny at her workplace. Aibeleen says in simple words, that if it had been someone who was black then there would be news coverage on it, and all the states would’ve been all over the place because a black man would’ve done what a white man did.
And this was such a deja vu. I have heard this conversation so many times in my life. I have been in this conversation so many times in my life. And it literally set into perspective why racism is something that is character driven in novels (you would be surprised by the number of reviews that state the lack of “excitement” in this novel was an issue).
There is a quote on the cover of the paperback edition that I read and it said that The Help is probably one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird, and I completely agree (about the importance, haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird yet).
This book is slow, because it’s about three women living in the society the way it was and the cultural views that these women had to live with. So, yes. Read this if you want to understand racism. Because I can definitely say that if the author can show racism and the way it happens to the characters in this book is still real as a concept years after these characters stories then the author has seriously accomplished something.