Essay on The Color of Water

1893 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,…show more content…
The middle of the book takes more of a look of some of the prejudices that both Ruth and James went through during their upbringing. Ruth begins to talk about the difficulties that came with being Jewish and living in the South during that time period. She was always the target for mockery by her peers, but fortunately met a girl named Frances who truly accepted her for who she was. They would spend a lot of time together, most of the time at Frances’ house due Tateh’s discern for gentiles. James also faced similar prejudices at school. Since his mother put so much of an emphasis on schoolwork, James and all of his siblings would have to go to predominantly Jewish schools and were the objects of ridicule for the other students. There was one instance in particular in which James was asked by his classmates to dance because of a predisposed idea that because he was black he could dance. He danced for the class, but conflicting thoughts were rushing through his mind. He felt accepted by his peers, but also ashamed that he stooped so low to gain that acceptance. This example as well as other instances that occurred with his siblings showed the racial tensions that were filling the air at that time. The book begins talks about other conflicts that arose with James and Ruth. James took a downward spiral during his teenage years,

More about Essay on The Color of Water

Open Document