In the end people have the power to influence and change other people’s lives, in The Color of Water by James McBride; James learns many important life lessons from the people around him and in his life and how to be a leader not a follower. Perhaps the greatest influence on James is the Chicken man who teaches James to get an education, to help James to find determination in life, and not to get in to a man and woman argument if you’re not in it with them.
The chicken man teaches James the importance of having an education, going to school and being educated in life, while pay off in his lifetime. The Chicken man tells James that if he drops out of school no one will beg him to come back to school and get his education that he need in life. “You think if you drop out of school somebody is going to beg you to come back? Hell no! They won’t beg your black ass to go back” (McBride 150). James is thinking that people will care for him to go back to school but the Chicken man told him that he’s just another black kid not doing anything with his life. James first job was working at the mile, pumping gas, change tires, fix flats and it was down the block from the his corner. Before James got fired for horse playing around in the shop, he had a little problem with one of his boss’s friends Mr. Herman. James had a fistfight with him because Mr. Herman’s friend was picking on him and making fun of him. “If you want to drop of school and shoot people and hang on this corner all your life, go ahead. It’s your life!” (McBride 150). But the Chicken man told him that if he wanted to end up in jail and stay on this corner for the rest of his life and not doing nothing with his life and with no education then go for it it’s his life to live not nobody else’s. In the end, the Chicken man was a great influence on James’s life and leading him in the right direction, not the wrong direction to destruction.
The Chicken Man teaches...