The Color of Water

1896 Words8 Pages
At the beginning of The Color of Water, James McBride’s mother Ruth goes on to introduce particular aspects about her upbringing. She mentions how she grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family and begins to describe both her parents. Ruth’s father was a very cold and hard individual who didn’t care too much for his children’s overall well-being, while her mother was very sweet and kind in nature. She also goes on to talk about how her family was originally from Poland but decided to move to the United States from fear of oppression from the Russian government. Along with outside forces that proved to be a problem for Ruth’s family were similarities in oppressive behaviors in their family as well. Since Ruth’s family were Orthodox Jews, there was a high dissonance for strict rules and customs. These persistent problems proved to have an effect on Ruth during the rest of her upbringing into adulthood. Along with Ruth’s story, James McBride also has stories about that coincide with Ruth’s describing his general upbringing. He goes on to talk about how he would often have questions concerning his family, more in particular his mother. James always saw his mother as different, and due to the fact that James grew up during the climax of the Civil Rights era left him with conflicting thoughts as to love and be faithful to his mother or dive deeper into becoming more accustomed to his African heritage. Embarrassing memories of his mother riding a bicycle through the neighborhood as well as punching a boy who was a Black Panther’s son for fear of his mother’s well-being were some examples of the conflicting struggles for identity James was going through during this time. There was another instance in which James asked his mother what... ... middle of paper ... ...e were the objects of ridicule from our peers. We couldn’t walk in the hallways or hold hands together without someone giving us a dirty look or faint whispers behind our backs. The other part of the book that really caught my attention was Ruth’s personal struggle with raising her kids. Both my mom and James’ mom relate in many ways. For one thing, she wanted for me and my brothers to have the best education and to be raised in the most optimal environment, so when I was four she decided to move in with two friends so they could have enough money to move into a more upscale area. My mother was also very reserved in that she didn’t like for our business to spread around too much, always telling me and my brothers to speak as little as possible about or home life. This book was very easy for me to personalize with overall and was a complete joy to read.
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