The Color of Water Questions and Answers
by James McBride

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What is the author's style in The Color of Water by James McBride?

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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 example, in the odd chapters, he writes in the first-person point of view of his mother, and he uses italics to convey that they are her actual words from an interview. The style is very informal and conversational. For example, in the chapter entitled "Kosher," his mother is describing the many strict, idiosyncratic rules of Judaism to her son, who was not raised in that culture. In her words, he writes:

You need to read up on it because I ain't no expert. They got folks who write whole books about it, go find them and ask them! Or read the Bible! Shoot! Who am I? I ain't nobody! I can't be telling the world this! I don't know! (p. 17)

In contrast, in the even chapters, McBride describes his childhood experiences using a very formal, descriptive tone with figurative language and imagery in order to...

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