Book: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Pages Read: 100-125
I had just finished reading The Book of Negroes, which I loved. So I decided to follow up with another novel – The Help – confronting a related issue. The idea of racism and discrimination is a really touchy subject that I’d find hard not get into or to feel passionate about. Like many of us, I feel strongly against is. And although there is much more equality today than there has been previously, it is still an issue in society.
What I found really interesting is when Aibileen, a coloured maid, points out the fact of white people despising blacks so much, yet they still hire them to look after their own children. The black maids and housekeepers raise their children, who turn out just fine, yet the whites still have such disrespect for them. Miss Skeeter also mentions that idea later on. The irony of it all. She understands how it is to be raised by a coloured woman – how simple it can be and how complex it can be. However, I really like Aibileen’s point because in reality, it makes no sense. The fact that some people can decide someone is lesser due to the colour of their skin is unreasonable and illogical. It’s ironic, how someone can be raised by a person and grows to love them, until one day that person becomes exactly like the rest and starts to see things in black and white, disregarding all they’ve ever known of the person they grew to love.
When we were first introduced to Newspaper Blackout Poetry, I wasn't too fond of the idea. We're just supposed to for words? Single out the ones that stand out? That almost sounds too simple. Then you need to string them together, in order to actually create a story or a meaning. Yeah, that makes more sense. There's always a catch. We also need to be more cautious of our word choice, in order to get the message across. Since we're using such few words (generally), it seemed easier to use clear, precise words.
What I found difficult though, was how we're not supposed to read the article or pay attention to the content, but simply scan for words. That was hard in the beginning. However, like anything else, once we get going we get the hang of it and ideas come more naturally. So the whole process did become easier. Fun, even. After creating my own Newspaper Blackout Poetry, I find the concept really neat. How we're really subtracting words, rather than adding them.
It's an awesome way to get yourself to think outside of the box. Personally, I found creativity within myself that I didn't know was there. On another note, something that came as a surprise to me was how naturally a theme came across for my three poems. When we were told that they all had to be a part of a theme, I couldn't see that happening. I thought I would have to write a ton before finding a trio that related. Then, to my surprise, it all unfolded perfectly. Newspaper Blackout Poetry is easily my favourite writing form we've done so far.