The Color of Water by James McBride

The Color of Water by James McBride

Length: 353 words (1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
How can you really know somebody unless you take the time to see what they have done right and wrong? In the nonfiction by James McBride, The Color of Water, Ruth McBride was the perfect example of a mother who did everything she could though couldn't do it all correctly. On one side her good parenting came out. She convinced all her kids to go to school and showed them to stick up for what is right. Though she failed to have a true connection with her kids because she beat them and didn't tell them about herself.

If you look back at what Ruth did, one thing sticks out the most. Schooling topped her list of what she expected the kids to attend. Ruth was so hardcore about it, she would end up staying up all night and falling asleep in someone's homework. Not that the kids weren't bright, just the teachers were the main reason they didn't get the grades they earned. By giving them grades lower then the kids deserved. After Ruth's oldest son graduated from college she was so proud, she repeated herself to the others to go to school and be like Dennis.

In times of Black Power, activists and revolutions, Ruth needed to show her kids how to stand up for what you believe in. One example of this was when Ruth told McBride to get some milk, it ended up being sour. Ruth took McBride back there and demanded that the cashier return her money or exchange it for another. Ruth didn't care who was looking at her or what they were saying. All she cared about was getting the proper food for her kids.

On a different note, Ruth could have done a couple things in another direction. For instance, beating kids is one way to get your kids to listen, not talk back, though it's not the best of ideas. She beat Billy because he forgot his lines in a play, beat them when they were a few minutes late home and beat them if they hadn't finished their homework.

Ruth would have had a more personal relationship with her kids only if she let them know a little bit about herself here and there. James at one point had no idea where she came from and Ruth only told him that she came from god. Also, James was teased by one of his brothers because he told him his real mother is in jail and he is going to visit her.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Color of Water by James McBride." 123HelpMe.com. 05 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=110081>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Color Of Water by James McBride Essay

- In The Color of Water, author James McBride writes both his autobiography and a tribute to the life of his mother, Ruth McBride. In the memoirs of the author’s mother and of himself, they constantly face discrimination from their race in certain neighborhoods and of their religious beliefs. The trials and tribulations faced by these two characters have taught readers universally that everyone faces difficulties in life, but they can all be surmounted. Whenever Ruth or James McBride face any forms of racism, especially for being related to each other, having different skin colors, they can always look to religion to aid them through these tough times....   [tags: Color Water McBride Analysis]

Free Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

The Color of Water by James McBride Essay

- The Color of Water by James McBride I chose this book because in the description of the book it is stated that it was written in tribute to James McBride mother and to the whole family she raised. I wanted to know how extraordinary her life was. The author is an authority on the information presented because this book is the story of his life. I. This book is an autobiography of James McBride where he integrates narrations made by him and Ruth, his mother. She was born in a Jewish family in Poland , but her family ran away from the Nazi Holocaust and came to America....   [tags: McBride Water Color]

Free Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

James McBride's The Color of Water Essay

- James McBride's The Color of Water James McBride's memoir, The Color of Water, demonstrates a man's search for identity and a sense of self that derives from his multiracial family. His white mother, Ruth's abusive childhood as a Jew led her to search for acceptance in the African American community, where she made her large family from the two men she marries. James defines his identity by truth of his mother's pain and exceptionality, through the family she creates and the life she leaves behind....   [tags: Color Water McBride Memoir]

Research Papers
921 words (2.6 pages)

The Color of Water by James McBride Essay

- The novel, The Color of Water follows the author and narrator James McBride, and his mother Ruth’s life. It explores their childhood—when they were both embarrassed by their mothers—through the part of their lives where they began to accept themselves for who they are. Moreover, this memoir is quite distinctive as McBride cleverly parallels his story to his mother, Ruth’s story using dual narration. This technique further helps contribute to the theme of self-identity. Throughout the novel, McBride searches for identity and a sense of belonging that derives from his multiracial family....   [tags: ruth's life, childhood]

Research Papers
882 words (2.5 pages)

The Color of Water, by James McBride Essay

- The novel, The Color of Water follows the author and narrator James McBride and his mother Ruth’s life, through their childhood—when they were both embarrassed about their mother—through the part of their lives where they began to accept themself for who they are and became proud of it. Moreover, this memoir is quite distinctive as McBride cleverly parallels his story to his mother, Ruth’s story by using dual narration which further helps to contribute to the theme of self-identity. Throughout the novel, McBride searches for identity and a sense of self that derives from his multiracial family and through the use of two different narrations, McBride slowly establishes his identity....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Acceptance]

Research Papers
782 words (2.2 pages)

The Color of Water by James McBride Essays

- The Color of Water by James McBride covers a unique epoch in the history of the United States. The memoir was finished in 1996, but depicts a life story that is surreal in the mid-20th century. James McBride’s unique and skilled use of a double narrative adds a new spin to the impact of the two memoirs because both lives seem so abstract to each other but in actuality complement each other. It has a magnificent effect in the narration by keeping us, the readers, interested by taking each step with them....   [tags: racism, social reform, and close mindedness]

Research Papers
820 words (2.3 pages)

The Color Of Water By James Mcbride Essay

- In The Color of Water, author James McBride writes a tribute to the life of his mother, Ruth McBride. Ruth was born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth. As an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind. In New York Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. Twice widowed and dealing with life’s adversity and the racism of the times, Ruth 's determination, drive and discipline allow her to raise her twelve children....   [tags: Love, Triangular theory of love, Marriage]

Research Papers
2102 words (6 pages)

The Color of Water by James McBride Essay

- How can you really know somebody unless you take the time to see what they have done right and wrong. In the nonfiction by James McBride, The Color of Water, Ruth McBride was the perfect example of a mother who did everything she could though couldn't do it all correctly. On one side her good parenting came out. She convinced all her kids to go to school and showed them to stick up for what is right. Though she failed to have a true connection with her kids because she beat them and didn't tell them about herself....   [tags: The Color of Water]

Free Essays
353 words (1 pages)

Essay on The Struggles of Ruth McBride in The Color of Water by James McBride

- Questioning looks, dirty gazes, and the snide babbles were all too accustomed to Ruth McBride, when she walked down the street with her tow of children. James McBribe, one of the dozen children from her two elopements, was often ashamed as well as scared. They had to prolong the worse racial monikers. His mother, who was white, maintained unattended, “Whenever she stepped out of the house with us she went into a somewhat mental zone where her attention span went no farther than the five kids trailing her,” McBride subsequently wrote “My mom had absolutely no interest in a world that seemed incredulously agitated by our presence....   [tags: race, widow, religion]

Research Papers
514 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on The Color Of Water By James Mcbride

- The book I chose to read was “The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother” by James McBride. James McBride James McBride was a writer as well as held a degree in music composition. This particular selection was by far his best seller. This is a story about the author and his struggle to accept his biracial identity as well as his mother’s history. James was the eighth child out of twelve. His mother was of Jewish decent and his father was black. He struggled to accept this fact and was downright embarrassed of the fact he had a “white” mother as well as being scared of the fact she was white....   [tags: Family, Black people, White people, Miscegenation]

Research Papers
1147 words (3.3 pages)

James really didn't know much about his mother until he grew up to be an adult and wrote this book.

Ruth didn't have everything so she could provide for her kids, but somehow her kids grew up to become successful and respected. A few of her actions were not the best ones, not relating with the kids on her past and beating them for simple mistakes. Opposite to that, Ruth handled her kids in her own way, being able to get all her kids to attend school and they all were capable of defending themselves. Ruth had her flaws but was able to cover them up with her successes with the kids.
Return to 123HelpMe.com