Color of Water Chapter Analysis
The significance of these two chapters of the story revolves around the city of New York and how it fit in to both Ruth and McBride’s issues they had to deal with in their youth. Ruth’s experiences with the city were similar but yet different, then her son’s. When she visited New York she described it as “an eyepopper,”(130) that consisted of so many “people rushing about,”(130) that made it seem like everyone was “too busy to care about what race or religion you were,”(130) which was something she admired about the city. She explains how she would “rush with the crowd,” with “nowhere to go… [just] rushing with the rest.”(130) The city was an escape for her, she went there to get away from the judgments of the south. The disregard of who you are and what you believe, allowed her to have this sense of freedom which living in a small town in the south took away from her. So when Ruth visited and disclosed to her aunt that she was pregnant, her aunt helped her get an abortion. So that’s all the city has been for her, an escape from judgment. Just as her son did in the following chapter, used the city as an escape, but instead of an escape from judgment, he used it as an escape from the emotional pain he had inside. After his father died, he’d do anything and everything in order to bury the pain so he didn’t have to feel it. He began his “own process of running,” and “emotionally disconnecting,” (138) himself from his mother. She was unstable and the “marvelous orchestrated chaos that [she] painstakingly constructed to make the house run smoothly broke down,”(140) when McBride’s dad died. The unstable household caused McBride to slip downhill getting himself into trouble. He stated “I had no feelings. I had smothered them. Every time they surged up, I shoved them back down.”(142) So the trouble he found in the city was an escape, an escape from the pain. To him the city was a distraction from himself, to Ruth, it...
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