The Color of Water Questions and Answers

The Color of Water

In The Color of Water, Rocky is the manager of the Hi Hat Barbershop. He is described as a heavy-set, light-skinned man in his fifties. The author also describes Rocky as being a well-dressed man....

Latest answer posted February 20, 2019, 2:08 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

Ruth's past was very painful to her, and she wanted to forget about it. She was born to a family of Orthodox Jews in Poland, but when she left Virginia to marry her husband, a Christian black man,...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2018, 2:56 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Color of Water

In Color of Water, Ruth's strengths are her commitment to education, her ability to accept racial diversity, her refusal to adhere to religious dogma, and her persistent individualism in the face...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2010, 10:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James McBride describes his large and unique family and upbringing in his memoir/autobiography, The Color of Water. There were twelve children in the household, including him. He was the youngest...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2018, 8:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The kids ate the food that their mother brought home from her job at Chase Manhattan Bank. The author's mother, Ruth, works as a typist at Chase Manhattan Bank; she works on a swing shift, which...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2019, 6:04 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

The major conflict in The Color of Water has to do with racism in America and how it affects all the characters as they attempt to go about their lives. James McBride's book is about the life of...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2019, 3:31 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

The quotation is important because it illustrates one of the book's main themes: how difficult it was for McBride to come to terms with his mixed racial heritage and forge his own identity. Though...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2019, 8:52 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

The author's purpose in writing this novel is to explore and connect with his own sense of identity. This book is a tribute to the author's mother, but in being that, it is also an autobiography....

Latest answer posted August 21, 2019, 3:34 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Color of Water

Throughout the novel, The Color of Water, James McBride searches for his identity as a black child who is raised by his white mother. Ever since he was a child, McBride was confused about who he...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2018, 9:07 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

When James was fourteen, Ruth picked up two hobbies: playing the piano and riding a bicycle. The latter, however, is something James and his siblings frowned upon. Hunter, James’s stepfather, had...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2015, 2:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

McBride's The Color of Water is actually dominated by two separate types of diction, as it is written from the point of view of two separate characters, interchanging based on odd and even...

Latest answer posted August 13, 2019, 8:48 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Color of Water

The author of The Color of Water, James McBride, uses two very distinct styles in order to convey the different points of view and backgrounds of he and his mother in his memoir/autobiography. For...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2018, 8:20 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

First, let's talk about your question. There are no Jewish public schools in the United States. If a school is Jewish, it must be a private school. If you are talking about a public school with a...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2009, 12:56 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The irony of chapter 5 being referred to as "The Old Testament" is, first and foremost, the many similarities it shares with the biblical text to which it is a reference. The chapter largely...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2020, 8:41 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Color of Water

I assume by "topic" you mean theme--in other words, what is the primary message or focus of this book. The Color of Water by James McBride is one man's journey to discover how, exactly, he fits...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2011, 8:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Are you referring to The Color of Water, by James McBride? If so, The full quote is: "...I felt like a tinkertoy kid building my own self out of one of those toy building sets; for as she laid her...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2010, 1:22 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

McBride's white mother, Ruth Jordan, is  a Polish Jew.  She immigrates to Missouri shortly after her birth in the early 1920s.  It might be nice to begin with some...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2007, 8:52 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

In The Color of Water, James McBride goes through several phases of emotional connection to his mother and how she presents herself to the world. When he first becomes aware of how different she...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2019, 6:03 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

One major factor in the success of Ruth's children was education. McBride makes many references to this in the book. For example, he says she was "forcing us into college through sheer willpower"...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2009, 2:09 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

This is a difficult question to answer simply because it is a multi-generational story which covers lots of time and places. The Color of Water was written by James McBride, and it is an...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2011, 2:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

In The Color of Water, Ruth McBride-Jordan escapes from an abusive background by changing her culture, her religion, and even, as far as possible, her race. Her family was Jewish, and her father...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2020, 8:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The Color of Water is a memoir about a family comprised of two distinct and relatively segregated cultures. Ruth, the author's mother, was raised as on Orthodox Jew. Her family kept the Sabbath...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2011, 8:07 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

In childhood, the boy represents everything that James cannot be or have. “I created an imaginary world for myself. I believed my true self was a boy who lived in the mirror. I’d lock myself in...

Latest answer posted June 25, 2009, 5:58 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James McBride's memoir, The Color of Water, weaves together with alternating segments the story of his mother's life and the story of his and his sibling's lives. The segments about his mother,...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2016, 4:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James McBride's autobiography, The Color of Water, recounts his search for answers he did not get from his mother when he was growing up. Late in her life, his mother, Ruth, shares just a little of...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2013, 10:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Hunter Jordan, James' stepfather, was a very unusual man. James was struck by the old fashioned clothes that Jordan wore, the fact that he was not interested in civil rights or the Mets and that he...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2009, 5:19 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Because eNotes allows only one question per post, your other questions were edited out. James McBride's story The Color of Water relates his journey, partway through his life, to discover who he is...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2011, 9:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James compared his mother's singing to a car trying to start, a Maytag washer, and the shrill voice of Curly from the Three Stooges. Ruth Jordan's singing was so bad and off-key that it actually...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2019, 7:06 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

The Color of Water is James McBride's autobiographical story. It is told in alternating chapters, first by his mother Ruth and then by James himself. The story is a result of the author's quest to...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2011, 5:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The Color of Water was written by James McBride and tells both his story and his mother's in alternating chapters. Each of them is on a journey. McBride's is a journey from boyhood to adult in...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2013, 3:01 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Chapter 20 of James McBride's book The Color of Water is an account of his journey to discover his mother's past. To do so, he must journey back to the place she left her family, Suffolk, Virginia....

Latest answer posted May 1, 2011, 8:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

I think that McBride's main argument is closely tied to his title, and that while most would associate that title with race, McBride intends for his readers to realize--as he did--that in regards...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2010, 6:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Author James McBride explores the intersecting roles of race, family, and community in The Color of Water, his memoir of growing up in a biracial family. As this is his memoir, self-identity is...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2018, 5:48 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Color of Water

Ruth was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. Her father was a rabbi, and her mother, who was a victim of polio, was from a wealthy family. Ruth's parents' marriage was an arranged marriage, and...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2015, 11:33 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Ruth's parents' relationship is collapsing because her father is having an affair. Ruth is living with Dennis when her father tells her that her mother is sick and they need help with the store....

Latest answer posted June 25, 2009, 10:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

There are a number of possible morals to be drawn from The Color of Water. One of the most prevalent is the idea that people can overcome their circumstances or other people's prejudices against...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2010, 8:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The argument in chapter two occurs between James and his mother. He inquired why she neither resembled him nor the other children’s mothers. Even though Ruth firmly responded assuring James that...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2015, 8:16 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Tateh Shilsky had both aggressive and passive aggressive ways to victimize Ruth. First, he was racist and judgmental. He hated black people and anyone who was not within a range of acceptance...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2009, 11:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James inherits his intellect, his committment to education as a form of self-empowerment, and his revolutionary philosophy of race through a spiritualized lense. When McBride honors his mother's...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2008, 3:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The Color of Water, by James McBride, is the story of McBride's journey to learn who he is by discovering the places from which he came. That does not seem like a particularly difficult task except...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2013, 3:46 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James McBride wrote The Color of Water as an autobiographical reflection of his journey to discover his past, for he was always aware that what happened before him was a major factor in who he...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2013, 6:09 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Three things that James McBride values are his mother, his siblings, and learning the truth about his biracial identity. The entire book, as the subtitle indicates, is a tribute to his mother. One...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2019, 10:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

James McBride begins his book by sharing the history of his parents with us. His mother was named Ruchel Dwajra Zylska when she was born in Poland on April 1, 1921. When her parents came to...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2016, 8:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The idea of learning how to find one's identity is quite personal, as every person travels a different journey. James McBride in his book The Color of Water searches for his identity both in...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2011, 4:24 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The key to Ruth's concealment of her past is in the first chapter, where she says, "Rachel Shilsky is dead as far as I'm concerned. She had to die in order for me, the rest of me,to live" (McBride,...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2009, 7:29 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The answer is no. It is easily shown that Ruth's father did not make the money he wanted. All one must look at is the fact that he constantly moved his family around, because he could not make...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2012, 1:04 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

The Color of Water is author James McBride’s tribute to and remembrance of his mother. The subtitle of the book is, A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother. As a small child, whenever the author...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2020, 10:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

Ruth's secrets about her youth obviously made her lack self-esteem. Her father's abuse probably had some effect on her pregnancy as a teenager. She was on her way to becoming a prostitute when whe...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2008, 11:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Color of Water

This book is an account of one man's journey to find himself. It turns out that, in his case, he has to discover who his mother is before he can really find his own peace. While on that quest, he...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2011, 2:33 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Color of Water

Ruth, as a white woman with black children needs to conceal their differences and tries to bring the brothers together as best as she can. She often changes the topic each time the issue comes up-...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2009, 12:28 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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