The Color of Water

by James McBride

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In what ways was Ruth victimized by her father in "The Color of Water"?

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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 according to him. He told Ruth that if she married a black man it would be the end of her.

Second, he also sexually abused her. He was a very negative influence in the family and perhaps due to his own mental instability committed these atrocious acts against his daughter.

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