Book Talk Home | Search Book Talk | Login | RSS
Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
The Dry Grass of August
"A must-read for fans of The Help." - Woman's World
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

Created: 12/15/11

Replies: 5

Posted Dec. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviaj

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 30

Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

I think obviously Stell wanting to go to the church tent meeting and choosing to carelessly take a shortcut in an unfamiliar place led to Mary's death as they could see from the time they pulled into the motel that the townspeople's attitude towards Blacks was particularly hostile and that there was a curfew in effect. The fact that they put Mary in that situation is disturbing to me and I wonder why she agreed to walk back in this unfamiliar place. Stell and Jubie just stood there and didn't take up for her either as she was dragged away by people who voiced that they would do something bad to her and I don't know why.


Posted Dec. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
gwendolyndawson

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 63

Expert

RE: Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

Sylviaj, I agree with you that Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death. Stell and Jubie repeatedly used Mary to chaperone them to events (like the parade and also the freak show at the carnival). I found that to be insensitive, but Stell and Jubie are just children. Perhaps they didn't know any better.


Posted Dec. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

RE: Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

Stell's actions definitely lead to Mary's death, but she's only 16. I doubt she is emotionally mature enough to have considered the possible consequences of her decision to take the shortcut through the white neighborhood. And with Paula as a role model, Stell could be excused for assuming everything would be OK. Paula was constantly putting Mary in questionable situations and then downplaying the danger and/or consequences.


Posted Dec. 18, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahd

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 84

Expert

RE: Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

I agree with Terrio. Stell obviously played a role, but I don't know how much we can blame her for it. She was only 16 and couldn't know the repercussions of her actions. Paula, however, can be blamed because she knew exactly what type of environment they were in, and she should have kept Mary and the girls with her.


Sarah D
Posted Dec. 20, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dave s

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 20

RE: Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

I agree with Sara and Terrio -- Stell's immaturity to understand what racism and all its ugly implications means led to the incident. What I don't understand was why the gang that attacked Mary would do it so brazenly in front of Stell and Jubie. As I understand it, a lot of the people that did these things did so more in secret (think KKK). Certainly if Mary were by herself, the attack would be done without others being witnesses. But certainly there were other people in that neighborhood that had maids, and so having your maid being with you even at night wouldn't seem unreasonable.


Posted Dec. 26, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Terry R

Join Date: 12/26/11

Posts: 10

RE: Do you think Stell is partially responsible for Mary's death?

I do think that Stell is partially responsible but at 16 I don't believe that she understood the possible remifications of their actions. After all, she had Paula as her role model! Had Paula been more sensitive or less selfish, Mary wouldn't have been there in the first place. Later in the book, they discuss Paula's need for a new maid... "8AM to 6PM, weekdays.Occasional Saturdays. Lunch provided. $25 a week." I know this is evident of the 50's, but seems so all encompassing... all day, every day, we will let you eat lunch, if you don't use our restroom, etc.


Reply

Please login to post a response.