The Color of Water report - Book Report/Review Example

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Maybe for this reason people write history, and keep the stories of their lives: their childhood, parents and grandparents memories… I think James McBride…
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McBride’s personal project For everything on Earth there’s a particular origin, and no one can truly know him/herself until discovering own origin. Maybe for this reason people write history, and keep the stories of their lives: their childhood, parents and grandparents memories… I think James McBride is mostly driven by desire to discover own identity than by willing to find answers on some racial questions when writing his autobiographical novel The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. Author’s own memories make a plexus with his mother’s ones and finally complete his family profile.
McBride is forced to a memory tripping by gaps in his family history. Both Jewish and African-American parts of his identity are missing. African-American inside him is missing due to the direct connection to a father whom he never knew: Dennis McBride had died before the author was born and only gave him the name, James. Despite that African-American relatives were mostly welcome to McBride himself as well as for his Jewish mother Ruth, author’s wishes to find what kind of man Dennis McBride was within several chapters. Yet even to a greater degree author’s Jewish identity is lost. Due to his mother Ruth’s dramatic life circumstances, any connections with his Jewish origin had vanished.
Therefore, most desperately author’s peering into Ruth’s Jewish years again and again: his mother Ruth appears to be the only connection left with McBride’s Jewish origin. At the beginning of the novel author notes: “Betwixt and between the pages of her life you will find mine as well” (McBride). Yet when discovering this dramatic chain of sad and remarkable events McBride never makes the topic of intolerance the main for a novel. The focus stays on exploring his mother’s life, and it makes the narrative so tender: Ruth never encouraged any racial discussions and used to change the subject when she was asked on a color of her skin (McBride 15). With example of own life Ruth had left no doubts that there are no any racial differences between people: author’s mother had eight children from author’s African-American father.
Thus, author must have learned the truth Ruth spoke of a race and deal with own biracial origin long time ago. “See, a marriage needs love. And God. And a little money. That’s all. The rest you can deal with. It’s not about black or white” (McBride 233). McBride recognizes the authority which Ruth had among her children. “She issued orders and her rule was law” (McBride 15). Yet despite the Ruth’s will, a common non admission between blacks and whites Americans, between Jewish and Christian religious tradition, a fear of Ku Klux Klan and other revelations of zero tolerance of 20th century naturally consist a historical background of the novel. It turns McBride’s writing from a very personal issue into a socially valuable text.
In this way a personally motivated story becomes something bigger than a story of a one family. It speaks on a variety of topics and concerns which already has become a part of a history or oppositely, continues to determine American social life. However, it shouldn’t be missing that The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride is firstly a personal project. It’s the individual memory trip which author takes in order to find own complex identity among the years of his mother went by.
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McBride, J. The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. A&B Black Publishing, 2012. Read More
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