Not a Christmassy post, but about a book. A good book. A book that penetrated my desire for entertainment and really made me think about what it means to be me. To be where I am from. And where I am now.
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is a novel about three women who speak out durring the turbulent 60's in Mississippi. Skeeter, a young white woman just home from college, suddenly discovers that like in Jacksonville is so much less than she wants. And with the disappearence of the woman who raised her, the black maid Constantine, Skeeter begins to comprehend the deadly spires her society is built upon. Aibileen, a stong black maid raising her seventeenth white child, works for Skeeter's friend-- raising a little girl that will likely never outgrow the system that produced her. Pulling in Minny, Aibileen's best friend and the most smart-mouthed maid in the West, Skeeter and Aibileen conspire to tell their stories to a world in desperate need of change.
Pausing withing simple passages, I found myself reassesing things I thought funny, steriotypes burried in my mind, and what I really expect out of life. This is a story about writing-- something I want to do forever-- and the power one can have with writing. Having a voice, something to say, and the means to say it seem downplayed in out information-overload society. At the same time, with great power comes great responsiblity. Resources are given to be used. If I have something to say, I need to say it, whether published by a huge publishing house or simply to this blog.
This is a story about what it means to be human. Coming off Guilliver's Travels, I see the irony and inhumanity more I think. (hmmm... maybe the classics are important?)
And this is a story about how we really aren't so different; a familiar story but something we forget so easily. The author herself quotes her favorite line as We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd though.
In striving to tell those untold stories, the heroines find so much more about themselves. A journey more of us should embark on.