Secrets In Mcbride's The Color Of Water

Good Essays
The Color of Water
1) Introduction: Secrets are a burden that can affect you and even the ones that you love. This is what James McBride was probably trying to get the reader to understand through the text in the book The Color of Water. After having this said McBride tries to explain the burden of secrets through his mother, Ruth McBride Jorden, who holds various secrets. The secrets that Ruth has kept to herself all come from her past, which haunt het later in life and complicate her relationship with her family.
2) Support your claim:
Reason 1:
One of the secrets that Ruth had to battle with when living in Suffolk was being pregnant by her boyfriend Peter, who she only told about her pregnancy. In chapter 11 page 114 it states that
…show more content…
Keeping her background a secret, James always thought that his mother was different because she was the only white lady in an all-black neighborhood. For example, in chapter 2, page 12 James asks his mother who she is and why she does not look like him. This makes James not only wonder about his identity, but as well as his mother’s.
3 & 4) Opposing Claim & Counterclaim: Not all secrets are a burden, I mean keeping someone’s birthday surprise a secret is not such of burden as keeping the secret of cheating on the final exams. However is not like people keep little secret for a long time, people will usually keep very big and deep secrets. Either way, keeping secrets are not only a burden, but can be hazardous to your health. According to the article “Keeping Secrets Can Be Hazardous to Your Health” it states that every time you think about a deeply held secret, stress hormones such as cortisol can surge, impacting your memory, blood pressure, gastrointestinal tract and metabolism. As neurosurgeon Gopal Chopra says “Those Hormones also include norepinephrine, which affect parts of the brain where attention and responses are

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    At the beginning of the book it starts to talk about Ruth, James McBride's, mother. We learn of the life Ruth had and who her family was. Learning that Ruth was Jewish and the her family consisted of two siblings and her parents. The father was Fishel Shilsky and the mother was Hudis Shilsky. These two got an arranged marriage in order to get/stay in the U.S. Fishel, or Tateh (meaning father), was a mean and crude father and never really liked his children. Hudis, or Mameh (meaning mother), was…

    • 1844 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The life story of: James McBride 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…

    • 977 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In chapter one of “The Color of Water”, Ruth, James McBride’s mother, starts out the book by saying she’s “dead” to her family. Her family wanted no part of Ruth and nor did she (Mcbride1). When she and her family moved to America, back then, her name was changed from Ruchel to Rachel. Ruth got rid of her name, Rachel, when she left to Virginia when she was just nineteen. The fact that Ruth becomes a fugitive is to stay away from her greedy, unaroused, racist father and the suffering of being forced…

    • 247 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In James McBride’s The Color of Water, both James and Ruth were affected with Hunter Jordan’s death in different ways. James griefed over Hunter Jordan’s death, but he didn’t properly deal with it. His way of grief was to not dealing with it. He started acting up which is not unusual especially since he saw his stepdad as an actual father, and when he died unexpectedly, James didn’t know how to properly deal with his loss. It also seemed like he had some sort of anger adding on to the sadness due…

    • 407 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The next chapter that I chose from The Color of Water involving conflict is chapter 11. Ruth McBride Jordan, known in her youth as Rachel Shilsky, grew up in the town of Suffolk and during her time living there racism and discrimination were in full force. All the kids at her school didn't bother with her because even though she was white, she was still a Jew and she just wanted to be an American teenager like the rest of them doing the same things. They never accepted her and that's why when she…

    • 493 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    is a ubiquitous quest. It is why many people conform to social standards or desire to be something they are not. For many, it is easy to find a community based on common goals, hobbies or religions. For others, it is difficult. James McBride’s novel, The Color of Water, intertwines the lives of James and his mother, Ruth, in an effort to compare their lives and the impacts they had on each other. Throughout the lives of James and Ruth, they struggle to fit in with their surrounding environments due…

    • 921 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    James McBride’s memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother not only tells the story of his own life but also tells the story of his mother’s life. The book looks at the author’s life experiences as a person of mixed race, his struggle with his own identity, and the discrimination that his mother, Ruth, endured from individuals due to her religion, as well as the injustices she faced from her own father due to her relationship with men of a different race and religion. While…

    • 1447 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Many people learn a lot of life lessons through many ways. Personally, I learn a lot of life lessons through reading books such as The Color of Water by James McBride. In The Color of Water, they give off quite a few life lessons from Ruth and James. One life lesson that I learned while reading The Color of Water is that it doesn’t matter where you come from. Just because you grew up some place in some environment doesn’t mean you are always going to be that way. Ruth grew up Jewish with a lot…

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Color of Water

    • 1735 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Some children have difficulties accepting their race. In “The Color of Water” written by James McBride covers the story of a biracial man that is trying to find out more about his white mother. Throughout the book James McBride discusses how racism and acceptance from people can be difficult. In the text “The Color of Water”, racial tensions has had an effect on James mother Ruth’s along with James and other individuals who have dealt with being biracial while looking to being accepted in their…

    • 1735 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Wiesel and McBride’s Hindering Religious Past Religion is one of the many aspects that make up a person’s identity. Religion plays a major role in the search for identity of Ruth McBride, in James McBride’s The Color of Water, and Elie Wiesel, in his memoir, Night. Elie is tortured an dehumanized in concentration camps because he’s a Jew. He was seen as inferior because of his religion. Ruth was restricted from doing what her heart truly believed in because she was controlled by her Jewish faith…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays