Mothers and Maids

5 Sep

Having read and watched The Help, I am filled with thoughts about my mom and mothers. This story can be enjoyed and even analyzed on many levels, including the role of mothers—then and now. Other mothers abound in the story. Skeeter is honest about who raised her and might even find the term “Other mother” demeaning in reference to Constantine, her family’s maid. She shows resentment toward her mom and love for her family’s “help” as she repeatedly reminds her mother that Constantine raised her. And, isn’t Aibileen more like a mother to Mae Mobley’s than the child’s own mom, Elizabeth? It seems appropriate when Mae Mobley tells Aibileen, “You’re my mom.”

For me, one of the most poignant moments in the movie is towards the end, when Skeeter and her mom come to terms with their past and future. While their emotional connection still seems disjointed, I appreciate their honesty. I love when Charlotte says to her daughter, Skeeter, “Courage sometimes skips a generation, thank you for bringing it back to our family.” It took great courage for Charlotte to admit her wrongdoings.

I am thankful to have had a mother who, like “the help,” raised me with unconditional love and taught me to be honest and fair. And, the story reminds me to mother my children with those same intentions.

If you read the book or movie, what moments made you think about your mom and her influence? Were you influenced or “mothered” by anyone else and what effect did that have?

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