chapter  3
The Ethics and Aesthetics of Adaptation
ByAlexis Krasilovsky
Pages 7

Ethical questions often arrive when embarking on an adaptation. Western literature has often taken a problematic stance when it comes to issues of colonization and other forms of repression, sometimes implicitly perpetuating the status quo, sometimes fighting for liberation with varying degrees of success. Commercial American adaptations have been particularly remiss by depoliticizing novelists' attempts to include social consciousness in their work. From a social and literary perspective, it is ironic and denigrating that the word "help" is relegated to the profession of maids. The film industry still has far to go to make as many films about the Rosa Parks and Gwen Ifills of America as it has about its slaves, maids, butlers, and chauffeurs. The protagonist of The Help gets to be a white woman whose "Heroine's Journey" is to obtain a New York publishing deal off of the black women's stories.