All Ruth's children seemed to run from their mother. Why? What was more of a factor, her race or her personality?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ruth was a strict woman, really rather harsh and cruel.  I think her circumstances made her this way, and that she was trying to prepare her children for life, but her children would not have understood anything about her life or her motives when they were young. If I were her child, I probably would not have appreciated her efforts until I were an adult myself. 

I think her personality and how she treated her children were greater factors in how her children felt about her than her race. But having said that, I also think that because children are strong little conformists, they might also have been, if not ashamed, then uncomfortably aware that their mother was different from all the mothers around them. Still, all things considered, I would say it was her personality that was the stronger factor.

We must also remember that we are seeing Ruth through the eyes of only one of her children, the author of the book.  It is difficult to draw a conclusion about how the other children might have felt about her or what motivated them.