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Old 04-20-2010, 04:03 PM   #106
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Thought some of us may be interested to see who People magazine suggests for the cast of The Help...

http://www.people.com/people/article...349017,00.html

I completely agree with their choice for Minnie! Heard a rumor that Whoopi Goldberg was being considered as well...but the article makes no mention...hmmmm.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:01 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Hankshouse View Post
Thought some of us may be interested to see who People magazine suggests for the cast of The Help...

http://www.people.com/people/article...349017,00.html

I completely agree with their choice for Minnie! Heard a rumor that Whoopi Goldberg was being considered as well...but the article makes no mention...hmmmm.
I went to a live taping of The View a couple of weeks ago. Whoopi herself said during a commerical break that she is in talks to be in The Help.

I wonder how this book will transform on the big screen?
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:15 PM   #108
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I finally got a copy from the library.

Can't wait to start reading and catch up.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:45 PM   #109
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It appears I have caught up with the group since I read last night that Elizabeth is pregnant again. I read each night to relax, but now I have to force myself to put this book aside and go to sleep because I find it so compelling.

This story reminds me of when I first learned of racism when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade.

I grew up in a San Francisco neighborhood composed mainly of Western Europeans from England, Ireland and Italy and Eastern Europeans who had survived the Holocaust. Mixed in were a few minorities but the neighborhood was predominantly white.

I attended a Catholic elementary school in the 60s, so we were still speaking Latin at mass, the priests were all from Ireland and kept their interaction with us limited to celebrating mass for the school on Fridays and distributing report cards in classrooms twice a year, and the good Sisters were still in traditional 15th century-style habits. Each evening the Sisters took their usual walk in herds through the neighborhood to make sure their Catholic children were getting along well in public and to read the magazines at the corner pharmacy. Our parish was slow to conform to Vatican II guidelines when they went into effect and no one seemed to mind.

My circle of friends I hung out with in the schoolyard, in Boy Scouts and on our school sports teams looked like it had been cast for a TV show - it was that "perfect" balance - 1 Asian, 1 Black, and 2 or 3 white Catholic boys. We all got along well. The Sisters were pro-civil rights and promoted harmony within the school and on the outside. We all got along well. Or so I thought.

One day our black friend was distributing party invitations to either his annual Halloween or birthday party, I forget which, to our crowd. Before he handed me an invitation, he asked "Are you my friend?" I told him I thought this was a stupid question since I always share a pup tent with him on our Scout camping trips and put up with his snoring and help him study in the library after school. He smiled, handed me an invitation and trotted off.

That evening during dinner my mother was rooting through my school bookbag, as usual, looking for all the notes I had forgotten to give her from school, sports, Scouts, etc. when she found the party invitation stuffed in a zippered pocket. While she went to write the party date down on our kitchen calendar, I told my parents and little brother about the question my friend made me answer before he would give me the invitation. My parents stopped what they were doing and looked at each other. Now I knew that look. Quickly, I ransacked my memory trying to remember what I had done wrong that day and tried to glance at the crumpled pile of papers from my bookbag to see if Sister had hidden a note to my parents in my bag. Experience had taught me that the look my parents gave each other meant I was in trouble. All I could do was wait.

After dinner my father told me he wanted to speak with me in the living room. I knew my time had come and I was almost relieved. He sat in the typical big overstuffed armchair all dads had at that time and I sat on the couch. My father then explained to me why my only black friend of the only black family in the school might have had to ask his white classmates if they were his friends. My father later said that my eyes grew as large as my mother's teacup saucers when I realized what he was saying. That evening I thought I understood my friend a little better, as much as an 8 or 9 year old could, even though my father could never answer my only question, "Why?"

But I guess that's because he knew there was no answer.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankshouse View Post
Thought some of us may be interested to see who People magazine suggests for the cast of The Help...

http://www.people.com/people/article...349017,00.html

I completely agree with their choice for Minnie! Heard a rumor that Whoopi Goldberg was being considered as well...but the article makes no mention...hmmmm.
I just can't see Anne Hathaway as Hilly. I pictured her as... less tall and lean and more short and a bit pudgy. I feel like Hilly is in charge more because she's a bully and not because she's just popular. I don't think she could be played by one of these well-known Hollywood actresses.

But, I have not seen Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:23 AM   #111
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I just can't see Anne Hathaway as Hilly. I pictured her as... less tall and lean and more short and a bit pudgy. I feel like Hilly is in charge more because she's a bully and not because she's just popular. I don't think she could be played by one of these well-known Hollywood actresses.

But, I have not seen Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married.
I always picture Anna Paquin as Skeeter. Hilly I always picture as Luann from the real housewives of nyc.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:22 PM   #112
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Thanks for starting this book discussion group! I love to read and love to have others to discuss books with.
I've just caught up and can't put it down.
While I really like the book, I also find it distrurbing, and here's why. I can't help but wonder who I would have been had I lived at that time. As a white woman, I want very badly to assure myself that I would have been more like Skeeter, but how do we ever know? Women like Hilly grew up believing that they were moral and just in thier beliefs. Of course I can say now - how could you NOT know this was so wrong?! But I have lived in a completely different time and pace. I can only hope that I would have been Skeeter and not Hilly. Also it makes me think about what do we take for granted that would make us the Hilly of this generation???
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #113
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Also it makes me think about what do we take for granted that would make us the Hilly of this generation???
I have asked myself that same question. Am I blind to the plight of homelessness, and other social issues.... Do I give back to the community with both my financial and personal support.... Have I been silent when I could have made a difference by speaking out.... Will I look back on my life and feel I have been just, kind and fair to the community at large, or only to my family and close friends. It's a lot to consider!!
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:57 PM   #114
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Wow! This book has brought out some very interesting comments and very personal stories.


I just started the book last night. I am sure I will like the story as so many others before me have.

However... I am having a very difficult time reading the dialect.

I cringe as I read the poor grammer as it would have been spoken by "the help". I find myself skimming the words and correcting them into "proper English" as I read. I wonder if I would have been better off listening to the book, maybe not.

I had the same trouble with "Color Purple" and did not finish that book.

I will persevere! Going to curl up with the book right now.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #115
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I had the same problem with the grammer, but as the book went on, I got used to it. Don't let that keep you from reading the book. I guess I was able to skim by most of it because I grew up in a small rural town where there were many whose grammer was similar. My mother however, was a teacher and would never let me get away with using any of it. Thanks Mom!
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:48 AM   #116
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Okay, I kept reading. I am up to chapter six now and the language is smoothing out between my eyes and my head. Good read!

What is with Hilly and the pie?
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:53 PM   #117
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Okay, I kept reading. I am up to chapter six now and the language is smoothing out between my eyes and my head. Good read!

What is with Hilly and the pie?

LOL! Those of us that have finished the book soooo can not spoil that for you.

Glad you are getting into the book now despite the grammer. Enjoy!
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:50 PM   #118
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Hi everyone, I read the book in January and loved it then. I was very excited when I heard on the podcast that this would be the choice for the bookclub since I thought it was one of the best books I ever read.

Since I am from Germany, I find it extremely interesting to read the comments from people who live where the book took place or even lived during that time frame.

Sorry that I don't have much to contribute, but I wanted to say that I love reading the discussion going on!
I am excited to see a book clubber from Germany! I hope to hear your thoughts on the book here. Please see the discussion points in the first post so you can join us!

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I finished the Help about a month ago and I did enjoy it quite a bit but it made me very uncomfortable to read.

First of all, I found the dialect used for the women who were "the Help" very uncomfortable to read. It seemed almost offensive that the author would choose to use language that made the women seem uneducated and intellectually inferior to the white women. I may be remembering incorrectly but I think she used that dialect even for the domestic help who were college educated. Did that bother anyone else?
Although it through me for a loop the first few paragraphs, I am actually enjoying the dialect. It is my understanding that it is very accurate in this book, and I feel that it helps me make a mental picture of the scenes in each chapter.

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Originally Posted by Hankshouse View Post
Thought some of us may be interested to see who People magazine suggests for the cast of The Help...

http://www.people.com/people/article...349017,00.html

I completely agree with their choice for Minnie! Heard a rumor that Whoopi Goldberg was being considered as well...but the article makes no mention...hmmmm.
This is really interesting. I am beyond excited for this movie to come out. I honestly cannot picture many actresses as our beloved characters though. The idea of Oprah in it is interesting, but I am not sure if I like her as Aibileen. I don't think she fits her persona at all. Monique might be good for one of the maids or how about that Gabby girl from Precious?

Quote:
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Thanks for starting this book discussion group! I love to read and love to have others to discuss books with.
I've just caught up and can't put it down.
While I really like the book, I also find it distrurbing, and here's why. I can't help but wonder who I would have been had I lived at that time. As a white woman, I want very badly to assure myself that I would have been more like Skeeter, but how do we ever know? Women like Hilly grew up believing that they were moral and just in thier beliefs. Of course I can say now - how could you NOT know this was so wrong?! But I have lived in a completely different time and pace. I can only hope that I would have been Skeeter and not Hilly. Also it makes me think about what do we take for granted that would make us the Hilly of this generation???
I'm glad that you have found us! I also wonder what I would have been like at that time. It seems as if these beliefs about race, women, etc. were taught from generation to generation, so I am not sure where I'd fit in. I'd also like to think I'd be more of a Skeeter back then.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #119
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The relationship between Miss Celia and Minny is a unique one. When looking at how other white women and their maids act towards one another in the novel, it is almost as if there is a slight role reversal between the two. Minny frequently tells Miss Celia what to do while the latter asks her advice on many things. Even more so, Miss Celia refers to Minny as her "perfect chicken partner," on page 224 and later admits that she looks at her as a friend. Minny is stunned by this and makes it clear that they cannot be friends due to society's expectations.

Miss Celia really shocked me in this section (Ch. 16-23) of The Help. Minny's suspicion of a drinking problem would be a perfect explanation to Miss Celia's strange behavior. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that she was pregnant.

We see just how far Minny will go to help Miss Celia in Chapter 18. It is here that she, again, takes on the role of a best friend when Miss Celia miscarries her hidden baby. I was stunned by this scene. Minny truly came to the rescue and went above and beyond the call of duty. She did this even despite the racisim occurring between whites and blacks in the town.

Aibileen and Skeeter's relationship has also developed as of lately. Aibileen, like Minny, has experienced racism firsthand working as a white woman's maid. Still, she is able to put this aside and speak to Miss Skeeter. She treats her respectfully even though white women do not show her the same respect. Aibileen also goes out of her way to help Skeeter find other maids for the stories. This is done despite the danger she is putting herself in by talking to Skeeter. Does this mean she almost excuses her for being friends with those who speak so poorly of the maids? To what extent do you think a person's flaws, such as racist attitudes and behaviors, can be forgiven because it is the norm in the surrounding culture?
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:53 PM   #120
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Finished yesterday. I always feel a little sad when I finish a book like this, I want to know what happens to each character NEXT.
Nikki - Your question about being able to forgive attitudes when it is the norm of the culture is a good one. Maybe this is where tolarence goes both ways? Maybe not tolerance but at least understanding? I know I know many dear older people who's view on many subjects differ greatly from mine. I also know that these attitutes and opinions were formed during times I did not live through. So perhaps I can't excuse those opinions, but I can at least understand why a person might have those beliefs even though I can't agree.
Anyway, I'd love a sequel, because I'd love to know where the paths each character is on will lead them.
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