color of water rhet analysis

Topics: Family, Judaism, Anne Reid Pages: 4 (1351 words) Published: February 18, 2014
James McBride, in writingThe Color Of Water, does so with a clear purpose in mind. In his book, through various rhetorical strategies, he makes it clear that his ethnicity does not matter. It does not matter if he is considered Jewish or Christian. It does not matter if he is considered black or white. He is simply “happy to be living.” He slowly comes to this realization as his story progresses and the narrative of his mother acts to bolster the realization he comes to at the end. The overarching rhetorical strategy McBride employs is the way the story begins in the way the story starts in tatters and puts itself together through the struggles of the main characters and this shift is defined by the diction and the syntax. In the beginning, McBride's mother struggles with her religion. Born and raised in a dysfunctional family with a violent father and a passively caring mother, both of  whom are strong believers in the Jewish faith, Ruchel Dwajra Zylska becomes Rachel Deborah Shilsky and begins to hate her life and her religion. She tells the reader about her dislike of Sabbath because sitting down, for her “was the hardest thing to do.” She also expresses her problems with her family members. Her mother's handicap made her “real conscious” and she constantly mentions her father's obsession with money. The repetition of the value that money holds in her father's mind makes it seem like she hates that habit. On top of that her father molesting her and ill treating her mother adds fuel to the fire that burns his reputation. Her bother Sam and his disappearance makes her family's condition look even worse; her life outside of home was just as bad. For example, she talks of the teasing she went through in school from the white folks. She explains how “It was a problem from the moment I started.” All of these things show her life to be in shambles. As the story progresses, her life begins to come in focus and the tables slowly begin to turn albeit slowly. Her first...
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