Skip Nav

The Color of Water Critical Essays

Navigate Guide

❶James has unanswered inquiries as a kid. The soil conditions might also differ.

Popular Topics

How to cite this page


The book uncovers how the main character Ruth, dealt with her negative memories of her past experience and how she was able to become a strong individual. Their story is told through Ruth eighth child James.

James had a conflict trying to understand why his mother was white and he was black. Ruth refuses to tell her children about her past, because she wants them to believe that everyone is equal and fears they will think differently if they hear about her past.

She did not want them to learn how hurtful racism could be. Her family disowned her because she did not marry a Jewish man and she went against all orthodox rules. Even though she was white, her own family had been evil to her. First it is Rachul Dwajra Zylska which was her Hebrew name, then her name became Rachel Deborah Shilsky which was the name given to her when she came to America, and then when her family disowned her she became Ruth McBride Jordan which was her married name.

McBride is the last name of the first husband and Jordan of the latter. However, James always had various questions to ask his mother about their background but Ruth was never the type of person to have an open discussion about her past. This also conflicts to them not accepting their heritage. Due to this, some children tend to have negative experiences when dealing with peers who do not accept children of color or mixed race.

In past and current events families and their children have been threatened because of being integrated. James discovered jazz during this period of life, embracing it as an escape from painful realities. He continued to try to resolve the dilemma of his race, frequently with frustrating results. As a child Ruth had dealt with prejudice against Jews in Suffolk, Virginia.

All he care about was money and the shop. He besides molested Ruth when she was a immature miss. When James was a immature male child he ever questioned her about race. He wanted to cognize if he was black or white and he besides asked what colour The nazarene was. James mother would non wholly reply his inquiry. She responded stating that James was a human and instruction was all that mattered.

James knew that his female parent was white. He knew that a white lady life in a black vicinity. James figured out how strong and brave or crazy his female parent was when she did non contend the larceny back and all she told James was that it was merely a bag and it did non affair.

When James grew up. He might hold been more excusatory for her but that would be about it. Ruth was seeking to do it a positive impact on his racial development. Ruth knew that race did non affair.

Ruth offers James confusion as he grapples with his racial individuality as a younger male child. In the later chapters, such as in Black Power, James began to realize the complexities of being a multi-racial person; torn between the desire of having solidarity with fellow black neighbors striving to fight for black power and concern for his white mother who is unwilling to commit with this movement, emphasizing the importance of privacy, the church, and the family McBride, n.

James even asked her mother if he was adopted, due to the fact that he has a different color with her mother. The civil rights movement at that time was very string, with the black community in their area actively supporting and campaigning for more black powers in society, to which her mother is very reluctant to accept McBride, n.

After this recall, however, James decides to show sympathy to his mother, ending up punching the face of a son of a member of the militant Black Panther Party, whom he deemed as a threat to his white mother.

After all, this episode shows that joining a black power solidarity movement, especially for a multiracial is not always smooth; convictions for black power may conflict with personal beliefs and priorities, provoking hesitation despite common discriminatory experiences in a white-dominated society.

The book then shifts on how Ruth has found her guidance and inspiration amidst all these contradictions, tracing her Orthodox Jewish origins to her eventual conversion to Christianity McBride, n. Her early experiences are never easy. Her father tried to make a living by being a rabbi, forcing them to move constantly from place to place; until they decided to open a grocery store in the predominantly black town of Suffolk, Virginia.

Ruth also had a recollection on her loveless daughter father relationship, especially because of the fact that her father was secretly abusing her sexually. However, she also points out that she still has a positive remembrance of her childhood, which includes her memories with her mother during Jewish holidays McBride, n.

This is emphasized in the way how Ruth raised her children, not taking lightly one instance where Billy refused to recite a biblical passage in Easter Sunday McBride, n.

In addition to this, America at the time of James still sees a society wherein being a colored means being a lesser human being; where black power is being fought for, and being black while having a white mother makes you trapped in questions and confused. This is followed by a recollection in the home of her mother in Suffolk, Virginia, where the absence of opportunities for blacks and Jews alike has lead them to miserable poverty, in addition to the presence of the Klu Klux Klan which presents constant intimidation and violence for them McBride, n.

The next chapters, especially School, Boys and Daddy explores the personal experiences of both James and Ruth on racial prejudice, with Ruth having to secretly meet with her loved one due to the threat of the Ku Klux Klan, and the fears of James in attending a predominantly white school.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Free color of water papers, essays, and research papers.

Privacy FAQs

The Color of Water revolves around James McBride’s mother, who has two identities: One is Rachel, the frightened Jewish girl who flees her painful past to reinvent herself in New York City’s.

About Our Ads

Color of Water essaysThe Color of Water by James McBride was a good choice for a campus reading for incoming freshmen. This book was really a great book, it dealt with diversity, religion, racism, acceptance, self-sacrifice, and hardships, the majority of these are issues for freshman. Color of Water Color of Water by James McBride, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, and Education In a paper consisting of 5 pages education and its importance as represented in these .

Cookie Info

The Color of Water Essay examples Words | 4 Pages Sara Knigge The Color of Water Essay Racial Identity The Color of Water by James McBride was a story about a young boy trying to figure out his racial identity but his mother would not talk about her past or what race she was. Essays for The Color of Water The Color of Water literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Color of Water.