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Old 07-06-2012, 12:39
augusta92
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Ignorance should never be an excuse I agree but I think there is something in human nature that wants to 'surpress, bully, discriminate' - I really do. If there wasn't, I don't think there would still be the Klu Klux Klan or extreme groups.

The only way is education. What I could never understand was that some of the people who were the most 'racist' considered themselves good Christians. How could they be?

You bring up the point about Johnny Cash. He was born during the Depression I think, and in the South particularly in the Ozark mountains the poverty was extreme - and was even when I was in school. I remember our school sending clothes, books and toys to the children in Appalachia. There is also evidence that some poor white people - particularly children - were sold into slavery before the American Civil War. As I said before I think there is something innate in the human psyche that wants to 'bully' or 'discriminate' - perhaps it is a lashing out of their own inadequacies or frustration - who knows.

Having black servants - or servants at all - was a symbol of wealth going back to pre-Civil War times in the US. Mississippi and Arkansas and Alabama were and I think still are very poor states with large black populations with employment a huge problem - being a servant or going into the armed forces were usually the only options open for work. If a black child showed academic promise, they usually went to black-only colleges and universities. You know even during WWII there were black-only regiments. There are still colleges with predominantly black students such as Howard University in Washington, DC.
I think what I found incredible from the book is that it is talking about a period in the 60s that is within living memory...at a time when I had no idea that it was so bad.....




there are fascinating parallel also to be drawn with the english .....and the raj...in India and the attitude towards people from the commonwealth countries..

I studied a Passage to India, by EM Forster, as an A level text ...and there is so much in that book about the differences between cultural groups and how hard it is for different groups to understand each other.... and in this particular instance...the british empire was based on exploitation of the native cultures.....and a fascinating study of the period of the british ruling over india....


that book also tackles discrimination, and how different cultures treat servants...and different racial groups....and women......


but what I think is scary...is that a book like that ...is an interestiing A level text.....but it wasnt until I was much older that I really appreciated what an incredible book it really was...


as in the Help.....its all very well to be young and idealistic...like the girl who writes the book......but....you have to be incredibly careful not to make the situation worse...for those involved....

i know there is a saying that you have to break eggs to make an omlette....and in this context it kind of implies some people are going to end up badly hurt before any kind of change can happen.... and we do see this happen in the book....there is a kind of pivotal moment ...

when things could get much much worse for the black nursemaids.....but then everything turns and works out ok in the end.....
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:56
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B][left]THE HELP - KATHRYN STOCKETT
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s


4. How much of a person's character is shaped by the times they live in?



I think a lot of a persons character must be shaped by the times they live in.....or by the religious or culural groups they live within......


If you belong to a strong religious or cultural group, then you have a maybe a different out look to that of the prevaling social norms...

and that sets you apart and leaves you to some extent a target to other groups who dont agree with you.....



And then of course there is the fact that the current political regime ....can control to a greater or lesser extent.....what the climate of the times are.....


Ok so ive been reading 'The Hunger Games' but that has its roots in ancient roman and greek civilisations...with the idea of Bread and Circus's

so political and cultural norms can be set from above.....



look at what happened in a country like Germany during the 1930s.... where innocent cultural groups like the jews, blacks and homosexuals , gypsies etc were targetted, robbed and exterminated....


its scary ...cos for me ...there is an element of their but for the grace of God go I....(or the entire UK).....If It could happen in a civilised and intelligent country..like Germany between the wars.....!!!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 13:23
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[left]THE HELP - KATHRYN STOCKETT
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s



5. Do you think that there are still vestiges of prejudice in relationships where people of colour or different races work for one other?



This question is a mine field...and places like radio 5 live...exploit it on a daily basis...in their phone ins.....


But Yes unfortunately I do..... not on an individual basis....cos i think most people are aware enough to not discriminate against people they actually know and like.....

but I do think there are vestiges around.....


for instance although I think my kids generation, and the prevalent attitude of society, is much more tolerant as a general rule....and prejudice is much less overt and more frowned upon......


if you scratch the surface...there are still some quite deep seated objections.....that are almost allowed to fester and become worse...because we arent allowed to openly discuss the issues raised.....


here in the east.. for instance .there are huge potential issues about the migrants from eastern europe...who come over to the uk to do farm work etc.....


I personally like the idea of a multicultural society....and to me Britain has always been a county with massive immigration which has led to our huge cultural diversity......so I dont have any problem at all with it......



....but.......I have heard so many people complain that they take the low paid farming jobs. at less than the legal minimum wage....so that UK residents lose out on employment opportunities..... for me to not think that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

the issue is that Unscrupulous farmers do seem to be by passing english law....and getting in cheap labour from abroad..... but it doesnt take much to slant that into an anti emigration feeling....


and then there is also the issue of how much extra pressure economic migrants place on stretched resources of the National Health service and Education services....

im sure these issues wouldnt matter nearly so much in a time of economic plenty...


But at the moment.........sadly they might....
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Old 07-06-2012, 13:27
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Good afternoon all!

First of all, could I say that I loved The Help I found it moving, exciting, tense and even very funny in parts (eg the toilets dumped outside Miss Hilly's house, and the whole thing about the pie ) The scenes of the white ladies at coffee mornings as reported by the servants were satire of a very high order.

The novel was about human and social issues, but cracked along at a great pace - I think it was mostly written in the present tense, and this made it feel very immediate. Oh, and I also loved the accents. On the first page, I thought I might be irritated - but no, the way the dialogue was written, I felt I could hear every character separately, as though I were in the room with them.

I felt that the most admirable character was Abilene - she embodied all the kinds of virtues I'd like to have myself, but could never live up to. The relationsip that I enjoyed most, however, was the one that developed between Minnie and Miss Celia, the 'poor white trash' girl who was if anything more at sea than the black servants, having left her home community and not found another one where she was accepted. I found her story very touching. And Minnie's protection of her, despite everything, even more so.
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Old 07-06-2012, 13:36
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Continuing on the theme of Minnie and Miss Celia......this was women helping each other in a very fundamental way. The book was peppered with different forms of 'help', from paid domestic service, to loyalty to other women, to the solidarity between and within the community of black servants. In the end, the 'help' was to a large extent flowing from the black women towards Miss Skeeter, who really needed them for her own career and to escape a stifling domestic environment.......I found the the various turns of fortune fascinating
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Old 07-06-2012, 13:48
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Okay, jumping on to Question 5 (sorry) Do I think there are vestiges of prejudice in the work environment?

Sadly, that has to be an emphatic yes

Employment is to some extent regulated by law (though one can never know what goes on in private). However, it is just one aspect of society, and unfortunately I would say that is still riddled with prejudice - as well as active discrimination.

A personal anecdote: I went to a very well- attended funeral in Birmingham recently, where there is a large black population (approaching 35%, I think). Anyway, the person who'd died was white, as were all his friends and family, and hence the congregation. Another friend came up from London and we sat with her. She is black, privately educated and holds a professional position. When the usher brought round the prayer books etc, he gave one each to me and my OH, and completely ignored our friend. She may as well not have been there. It was so embarrassing, the prejudice could not have been more obvious. Of course, I got up and brought her a book.......and I admired her ability to swallow her anger and deal with it.

Just one small example, there are many more...
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Old 07-06-2012, 14:13
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BOOK GROUP DISCUSSIONS

PLEASE KEEP BUMPING THIS. WE CAN DISCUSS THIS UNTIL 8 AM TOMORROW (8TH JUNE)




THE HELP - KATHRYN STOCKETT
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s

1. Which characters did you find the most likeable and why?Did you have a favourite character


2. What did you think motivated Abileen?

3. Do you think people's attitudes and behaviour can be forgiven because it is the norm in the particular culture?

4. How much of a person's character is shaped by the times they live in?

5. Do you think that there are still vestiges of prejudice in relationships where people of colour or different races work for one other?

I hope these questions stimulate some good discussion. Remember, we have until tomorrow morning to discuss them. Please ensure that you head your reply in Bold, Book Group Discussion.
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Old 07-06-2012, 14:30
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Ignorance should never be an excuse I agree but I think there is something in human nature that wants to 'surpress, bully, discriminate' - I really do. If there wasn't, I don't think there would still be the Klu Klux Klan or extreme groups.

The only way is education. What I could never understand was that some of the people who were the most 'racist' considered themselves good Christians. How could they be?

You bring up the point about Johnny Cash. He was born during the Depression I think, and in the South particularly in the Ozark mountains the poverty was extreme - and was even when I was in school. I remember our school sending clothes, books and toys to the children in Appalachia. There is also evidence that some poor white people - particularly children - were sold into slavery before the American Civil War. As I said before I think there is something innate in the human psyche that wants to 'bully' or 'discriminate' - perhaps it is a lashing out of their own inadequacies or frustration - who knows.

Having black servants - or servants at all - was a symbol of wealth going back to pre-Civil War times in the US. Mississippi and Arkansas and Alabama were and I think still are very poor states with large black populations with employment a huge problem - being a servant or going into the armed forces were usually the only options open for work. If a black child showed academic promise, they usually went to black-only colleges and universities. You know even during WWII there were black-only regiments. There are still colleges with predominantly black students such as Howard University in Washington, DC.
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Very interesting post, nyannie - good to have some information from an American about the background to the novel. Horrifying to be reminded that such things as black-only regiments (and buses, colleges,etc) were commonplace in my lifetime Also, I agree that bullying (of which discrimination and prejudice are perhaps one form) seems unfortunately to be innate in human behaviour. And that education is the only solution - real education, involving experience and reflection, not box-ticking exercises.

On an ancillary note, I found it interesting that the crowds along the Thames etc for the Jubilee seemed to be mainly white, despite being surrounded by boroughs with very high black populations. What was that all about? On the formal occasions like the Thanksgiving Service, a specific effort appeared to have been made to include people from many races and backgrounds - yet another thing to thank the Queen for! (I know, I can bring the Jubilee into anything at the moment )
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Old 07-06-2012, 15:16
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[b]
[left]THE HELP - KATHRYN STOCKETT
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s



5. Do you think that there are still vestiges of prejudice in relationships where people of colour or different races work for one other?




for instance although I think my kids generation, and the prevalent attitude of society, is much more tolerant as a general rule....and prejudice is much less overt and more frowned upon......


if you scratch the surface...there are still some quite deep seated objections.....that are almost allowed to fester and become worse...because we arent allowed to openly discuss the issues raised.....


here in the east.. for instance .there are huge potential issues about the migrants from eastern europe...who come over to the uk to do farm work etc.....


I personally like the idea of a multicultural society....and to me Britain has always been a county with massive immigration which has led to our huge cultural diversity......so I dont have any problem at all with it......



..
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Interesting post Marion (sorry I have cut it down)

I do think my kids' generation is more ''tolerant'' (I hate that word - what's there to tolerate??) and ethnic and racial groups do mix more . My girls aren't married yet but I think more than half their friends have married either black guys or people from abroad, for them it has become quite normal (whereas for me, my parents would have blown a gasket, I think )

I agree that I like the 'idea of a multi-cultural society' ....I am sad though that the number of right wing groups gaining support and even council seats etc, tends to show that it may still be an idea, not yet a reality.
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Old 07-06-2012, 15:27
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Question 3: Do you think people's attitudes and behaviour can be forgiven because it is the norm in a society or culture?

Great question - wish I had more time to reply. As it is, this is just a trailer for the longer post I'd like to write

Complex issue, of course. Basically I believe that pretty much any behaviour can be forgiven in a moral sense, ie not held against someone permanently for the future - especially if they are willing to consider what they've done and reflect on it, and try to change, within their capacity to do so.

However, this is not the same as excusing behaviour. I feel every individual has a duty to other people and to themselves, to be as open, considerate and truthful as they can be. Not attempting to do this, in any society, is in my view , not excusable.

It would, however, be fogivable, so long as the person was addressing the issues, as above.

Hope that makes some sort of sense...
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Old 07-06-2012, 15:28
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Got to go now - come on everyone, I've been talking to myself for 2 hours, it seems
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Old 07-06-2012, 15:57
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BOOK GROUP DISCUSSIONS

PLEASE KEEP BUMPING THIS. WE CAN DISCUSS THIS UNTIL 8 AM TOMORROW (8TH JUNE)




THE HELP - KATHRYN STOCKETT
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s

1. Which characters did you find the most likeable and why?Did you have a favourite character


2. What did you think motivated Abileen?

3. Do you think people's attitudes and behaviour can be forgiven because it is the norm in the particular culture?

4. How much of a person's character is shaped by the times they live in?

5. Do you think that there are still vestiges of prejudice in relationships where people of colour or different races work for one other?

I hope these questions stimulate some good discussion. Remember, we have until tomorrow morning to discuss them. Please ensure that you head your reply in Bold, Book Group Discussion.
Book Group Discussion

So I haven't read the book, not sure whether I'm qualified to comment . . . . but some interesting stuff here. So if it's permitted, here are a couple of observations:

Q3: my answer is no. Lindy focused on the willingness to forgive and I agree with that bit, but I want to focus on what I see is more the sentiment behind the question which is a willingness to stand apart from cultural norms. This is something I've always felt strongly about and look to surround myself with peeps who have the strength to do likewise . . . not the permanent rebels for rebellion's sake, but rather those who have a mind of their own and are willing to pay the price, including being 'ostracised' from the mainstream sometimes. So yes I'm sure it's understandable that the majority cluster together for security and many will feel there's safety in numbers, but in my book that doesn't excuse them. I expect peeps to have their own inbuilt standards which should defy the changing times and one's own personal advantage. So that if the conditions of 1930s Germany were ever repeated, the outcome might be different this time. Personally, I'm not optimistic on that score!

Q5: In response to what kfb said, I was wondering how much of this might actually not always be a colour thing, more the master/servant dynamic in operation. I'm sure some people pay their money and think that gives them the right to forget the normal standards of respect and decency towards a fellow human being. If they're insecure and inadequate in the first place, it might even make them feel better about themselves. For anyone who watches Mad Men, the dynamic between Betty (insecure white housewife) and Carla (black maid) was an interesting one. Undertones of racism in it (in line with the standards of the 1960s), but really more about Betty's snobbish insecurity tbh.
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:03
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ok.....loads of people elsewhere seem to be reading...


50, shades of Grey......



what does anyone else think.....????? it seems to be highly recommended.....

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Old 07-06-2012, 16:05
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ok.....loads of people elsewhere seem to be reading...


50, shades of Grey......



what does anyone else think.....????? it seems to be highly recommended.....

But they stocked up on batteries first Augusta! Now - is that a recommendation?!
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:13
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Continuing on the theme of Minnie and Miss Celia......this was women helping each other in a very fundamental way. The book was peppered with different forms of 'help', from paid domestic service, to loyalty to other women, to the solidarity between and within the community of black servants. In the end, the 'help' was to a large extent flowing from the black women towards Miss Skeeter, who really needed them for her own career and to escape a stifling domestic environment.......I found the the various turns of fortune fascinating
Book Group Discussion


I think I liked Minnie and Abilene best. Minnie I think had more 'humour' but at its core women were helping women - have to agree with you.

I think that living in the South of the 60's it would have been very difficult for a black woman to get anything published. Skeeter was the obvious route.

What makes me angry still is that despite all the freedom workers, the great march to Washington, the anti-discrimination laws etc etc - there are still pockets of the Deep South that still have the Klan, still have desperate poverty and still have discrimination.
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:15
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So I haven't read the book, not sure whether I'm qualified to comment . . . . but some interesting stuff here. So if it's permitted, here are a couple of observations:

Q3: my answer is no. Lindy focused on the willingness to forgive and I agree with that bit, but I want to focus on what I see is more the sentiment behind the question which is a willingness to stand apart from cultural norms. [b]This is something I've always felt strongly about and look to surround myself with peeps who have the strength to do likewise . . . not the permanent rebels for rebellion's sake, but rather those who have a mind of their own and are willing to pay the price, [/B]including being 'ostracised' from the mainstream sometimes. So yes I'm sure it's understandable that the majority cluster together for security and many will feel there's safety in numbers, but in my book that doesn't excuse them. I expect peeps to have their own inbuilt standards which should defy the changing times. So that if the conditions of 1930s Germany were ever repeated, the outcome might be different this time. Personally, I'm not optimistic on that score!

Q5: In response to what kfb said, I was wondering how much of this might actually not always be a colour thing, more the master/servant dynamic in operation. I'm sure some people pay their money and think that gives them the right to forget the normal standards of respect and decency towards a fellow human being. If they're insecure and inadequate in the first place, it might even make them feel better about themselves. For anyone who watches Mad Men, the dynamic between Betty (insecure white housewife) and Carla (black maid) was an interesting one. Undertones of racism in it (in line with the standards of the 1960s), but really more about Betty's snobbish insecurity tbh.



im sure you are qualified to comment......



I like the idea of standing outside of the norm.....but it isnt an easy stance necessarily to take....

or always that understandable a stance to take........and it takes a lot of a certain kind of self confidence and self belief...


what worries me is that it is a bit of a luxury to be able to stand up and to say what you really think, and if you are in a lot of work or social situations.......you are really hampered by social conventions and the need to keep your job or earn a living......


and you can be incredibly isolated....and not in contact with people who think in the same way or who can support you in your thinking. this place is a brilliant place to be able to discuss and question things....


but in my everyday life.....I dont meet that many people who think in the same way as I do.....


and its very easy to get distracted and to forget the things that do really matter...





like using friends made or re-established becasue of John..... to go around and give someone a hug, cos they are worried........


that is so so powerful....and so so wonderful.......


sometimes I feel so good about being human.....and that there is hope for us all......
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:19
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But they stocked up on batteries first Augusta! Now - is that a recommendation?!
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:21
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So I haven't read the book, not sure whether I'm qualified to comment . . . . but some interesting stuff here. So if it's permitted, here are a couple of observations:

Q3: my answer is no. Lindy focused on the willingness to forgive and I agree with that bit, but I want to focus on what I see is more the sentiment behind the question which is a willingness to stand apart from cultural norms. This is something I've always felt strongly about and look to surround myself with peeps who have the strength to do likewise . . . not the permanent rebels for rebellion's sake, but rather those who have a mind of their own and are willing to pay the price, including being 'ostracised' from the mainstream sometimes. So yes I'm sure it's understandable that the majority cluster together for security and many will feel there's safety in numbers, but in my book that doesn't excuse them. I expect peeps to have their own inbuilt standards which should defy the changing times. So that if the conditions of 1930s Germany were ever repeated, the outcome might be different this time. Personally, I'm not optimistic on that score!

Q5: In response to what kfb said, I was wondering how much of this might actually not always be a colour thing, more the master/servant dynamic in operation. I'm sure some people pay their money and think that gives them the right to forget the normal standards of respect and decency towards a fellow human being. If they're insecure and inadequate in the first place, it might even make them feel better about themselves. For anyone who watches Mad Men, the dynamic between Betty (insecure white housewife) and Carla (black maid) was an interesting one. Undertones of racism in it (in line with the standards of the 1960s), but really more about Betty's snobbish insecurity tbh.
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Alex, I'll reply to your comments on Question 3.

I think Skeeter's behaviour illustrated this. Life in theSouth was and still is a bit different. Belonging to a group really matters and it is a very strong person indeed who will stand as an individual.

Look at how each of the girls was so desperate to be part of the different clubs. Miss Celia had 'slighted' one of the group and she was from a poor background so she was not to be accepted. Unfortunately it is the belonging to the group that is important to those women. In the 1960s the purpose of going to college/university for many many women was to find a husband. I experienced that myself.

It is very hard to explain, but there is a feeling - which starts from a young age - that you must 'belong' - whether to a particular club, cheerleading squad, sports team etc. I think this 'belonging' is even stronger in the South - even today.

I am not sure the British have this 'belonging' feeling as much as Americans, but it is still true today, particularly in the Deep South.
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:25
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Question 3: Do you think people's attitudes and behaviour can be forgiven because it is the norm in a society or culture?

Great question - wish I had more time to reply. As it is, this is just a trailer for the longer post I'd like to write

Complex issue, of course. Basically I believe that pretty much any behaviour can be forgiven in a moral sense, ie not held against someone permanently for the future - especially if they are willing to consider what they've done and reflect on it, and try to change, within their capacity to do so.

However, this is not the same as excusing behaviour. I feel every individual has a duty to other people and to themselves, to be as open, considerate and truthful as they can be. Not attempting to do this, in any society, is in my view , not excusable.

It would, however, be fogivable, so long as the person was addressing the issues, as above.

Hope that makes some sort of sense...
It does make sense Lindy. I tend to agree with you, but if people don't learn or stay in the same norm or culture, they will never learn.

As I said before, I think there is something in the human psyche that wants to be 'top dog' and control the situation.
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:31
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I read The Help last year - so some of the detail has blurred. But the main thing that remained with me is something mentioned earlier - that this kind of society does not come from some distant past when much prejudice was fuelled by uneducated ignorance, but from relatively recent times in a wealthy society which was proud of its democratic heritage.

Later, I began to wonder just how representative the book was of Southern towns of that era and how much was coloured by the need for dramatic impact - after all - it is a novel, not a history. Is this book eventually going to be yoked with 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' as going wildly over the top in its efforts to ram home its message?

But one thing is for sure, the characters really come to life - you end up caring deeply about what is going to happen to them.
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:33
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Alex, I'll reply to your comments on Question 3.

I think Skeeter's behaviour illustrated this. Life in theSouth was and still is a bit different. Belonging to a group really matters and it is a very strong person indeed who will stand as an individual.

Look at how each of the girls was so desperate to be part of the different clubs. Miss Celia had 'slighted' one of the group and she was from a poor background so she was not to be accepted. Unfortunately it is the belonging to the group that is important to those women. In the 1960s the purpose of going to college/university for many many women was to find a husband. I experienced that myself.

It is very hard to explain, but there is a feeling - which starts from a young age - that you must 'belong' - whether to a particular club, cheerleading squad, sports team etc. I think this 'belonging' is even stronger in the South - even today.

I am not sure the British have this 'belonging' feeling as much as Americans, but it is still true today, particularly in the Deep South.

Oh I think you have a very valid point about wanting to belong to a particular group......


I think there are still aspect of the British need to belong.....

I think its especially obvious at school with all the gangs and cliques that exist.....It takes a certain kind of mentality to be confident enough to stand alone...and not be affected by the pack mentality....

think of how kids have to dress alike or like the same bands or people....its all part of the gang mentality.....

and then that goes into adult life as well.........it takes education and opportunity, and money and travel...etc... to give you the chance to escape the rut...and to question everything....and i do wonder if its different for males and females?
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:35
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I read The Help last year - so some of the detail has blurred. But the main thing that remained with me is something mentioned earlier - that this kind of society does not come from some distant past when much prejudice was fuelled by uneducated ignorance, but from relatively recent times in a wealthy society which was proud of its democratic heritage.

Later, I began to wonder just how representative the book was of Southern towns of that era and how much was coloured by the need for dramatic impact - after all - it is a novel, not a history. Is this book eventually going to be yoked with 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' as going wildly over the top in its efforts to ram home its message?

But one thing is for sure, the characters really come to life - you end up caring deeply about what is going to happen to them.



thats why its so interesting to get nyannies perspective.......


but i think there must be quite a lot of historical detail in there....even if it is only the authors interpretation of her social history.....
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:35
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what worries me is that it is a bit of a luxury to be able to stand up and to say what you really think, and if you are in a lot of work or social situations.......you are really hampered by social conventions and the need to keep your job or earn a living......

and you can be incredibly isolated....and not in contact with people who think in the same way or who can support you in your thinking. this place is a brilliant place to be able to discuss and question things....

but in my everyday life.....I dont meet that many people who think in the same way as I do.....
BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION

Peeps are hampered I agree, but that's what I'm saying about paying the price. Don't we all have to weigh up the price of going along with the majority even when we disagree. Not that we will always pipe up (because there's a price to pay), but that we'll at least evaluate the cost and benefit by reference to our personal morality, and not just take the path of least resistance with society's morality.

And that's why I mentioned 1930s Germany, cos that's a real life example where people chose to put first their own jobs, family and standing in society, rather than really evaluate the growing evidence around them and pay the price which anyone with decent personal standards imo should have.

The real difficulty I see is that because so many of us have made so many compromises on this point in lots of small areas of our daily lives (for all the good reasons you've indicated), if there ever was a massive dilemma (like 1930s) I doubt many would be equipped to face it because they're so used to flowing with the majority. And relying on politicians to change public opinion for the better (a la Churchill) isn't something I'd put much faith in. Hence my pessimism about the hypothetical outcome!

I do take your point though that some have more freedom than others to eschew party lines eg, because of financial or personal circumstances. But personally, I'd still hope everybody has defined lines which they wouldn't be prepared to cross, whatever public opinion or financial rewards might be. And in the context of the book, mistreating servants really ought to be one of those.
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:39
augusta92
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Peeps are hampered I agree, but that's what I'm saying about paying the price. Don't we all have to weigh up the price of going along with the majority even when we disagree. Not that we will always pipe up (because there's a price to pay), but that we'll at least evaluate the cost and benefit, and not just take the path of least resistance.

And that's why I mentioned 1930s Germany, cos that's a real life example where people chose to put first their own jobs, family and standing in society, rather than really evaluate the growing evidence around them and pay the price which anyone with decent personal standards imo should have.

The real difficulty I see is that because so many of us have made so many compromises on this point in lots of small areas of our daily lives (for all the good reasons you've indicated), if there ever was a massive dilemma (like 1930s) I doubt many would be equipped to face it because they're so used to flowing with the majority. And relying on politicians to change public opinion (a la Churchill) isn't something I'd put much faith in. Hence my pessimism about the hypothetical outcome!

I do take your point though that some have more freedom than others to eschew party lines eg, because of financial or personal circumstances. But personally, I'd still hope everybody has defined lines which they wouldn't be prepared to cross, whatever public opinion or financial rewards might be. And in the context of the book, mistreating servants really ought to be one of those.


I agree.......



I think mistreating servants is such an awful way to go.....


but when thinking of servants and masters....I end up thinking of Jeeves and wooster...where the servant is so much more sensible than the master........
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Old 07-06-2012, 16:40
AlexBB3
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but when thinking of servants and masters....I end up thinking of Jeeves and wooster...where the servant is so much more sensible than the master........
That's rather what it's like in Mad Men. Carla (the black maid) was so much more warm and rounded a person than the cold insecure mistress whom she had to "manage". And the 10 year old daughter Sally turned to the maid for the emotional warmth and stability which kids require in their formative years.
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