Color of Water Analysis

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Three Step Literary Analysis
The book, Color of Water, is written by James McBride and it is the story of his life and his mother’s. The book is more like two intertwining books than just a single book. It switches between two points of views, Ruth McBride and her son James McBride. In Ruth’s chapters, she chronicles out her life story beginning with her migrating to the United States when she was two years old. At a young age, Ruth’s life is filled with hardship. Her father did not love her mother, her mother suffered from polio; she was verbally abused at school for being Jewish, and physically abused by her father. As soon as she could, Ruth began to put her past behind her. She moved to New York, converted to Christianity, and married a black man. The other half of the book is the biography of the author James McBride. James was one of twelve children and because of that his childhood was full of chaos. Yet his mother kept the children under control by instilling the importance of church and school into their minds. During his teenage years, James started rebelling against his mother by skipping school and taking drugs and alcohol. But before graduating high school, he decides to turn his life around. After doing that, he attended Oberlin College then Columbia University. As an adult, James worked as a journalist for many magazines and newspapers, but he also started uncovering his mother’s past because she had kept it a secret to all her children. By uncovering his mother’s past, James was able to build an even deeper relationship with her. While reading this book, it was hard to compare it to anything else because of its originality. A story about an old, white lady taking care of twelve black children; there is almost nothing like that! Although the concept of digging into someone’s past and in doing so gaining a deep respect for them comes close to the movie Hugo. Hugo is about an orphan boy who lives in the walls of a Paris railway station....
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