21st century. Freedom of speech. Equal human rights. No racism (at least it is frowned upon, anyway!).
Now, rewind a bit and enter the world of Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. A time where black maids raised up white babies, though they weren’t trusted-‘ not to steal the silver’ .
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an extra ordinary story told by three extra ordinary women, who live in a time they are much ahead of.
The story starts by showing the two very different worlds of ‘The help’ (the colored women) and the ‘jobless, stylish, league ladies’ (the white women) co-existing together in a small town in Mississippi.
The joining link between these two worlds was one of the main protagonists- Miss Skeeter- the white, aspiring writer raised by black maids all her life.
Skeeter always wanted to write something that people really needed to read about. So, in a time where even speaking to a black person was shunned upon, she decided to team up with two black women (Aibileen and Minny) and write about the point of view of ‘the help’.
In this dark, hard hitting tale of the past, Stockett re-explores history with three strong women.
Women, who dared to break the unfair, unspoken rules in search of a truth, they had been questioning their entire lives.
Women who risked their lives to speak out against injustice.
Women who showed us what courage is, and the impact it can have and finally, women who taught us the power of unity and friendship.
Through The Help, Stockett not only changed the lives the people in the book but also those of its readers as it forces one to think about the ignorance we practice on the help around us even today. It forces us to realize that the evil of ‘slavery’ still exists and that it is finally time for us to start changing that.
This deeply moving novel teaches us to ultimately respect everyone and anyone around us irrespective of their class, caste, gender or color. So it’s a must read for both racists and anti-racists out there, so they can either feel the shame or the pride they deserve.