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The Color of Water Presentation

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Gwynne Hernandez

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of The Color of Water Presentation

What is the theme?
It is a struggle to reconcile and find balance between the past and the present.
Ruth must reconcile her cultural heritage and Jewish background with her new life surrounded by black people and dedicate to the Christian faith.
Ruth's old life is dead, but she holds on to the memories of her family and what she learned from her experiences. Therefore, she finds balance between her past and present.
“I got rid of that name (Rachel) when I was nineteen and never used it again after I left Virginia for good in 1941. 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 2)”
“She (Ruth) and my father brought a curious blend of Jewish-European and African-American distrust and paranoia into our house. (McBride 28)”
“She wipes her memory instantly and with purpose; it’s a way of preserving herself. (McBride 271)”
“In running from her past, Mommy has created her own nation, a rainbow coalition. (McBride 277)“
Wants to escape past pain of losing dad and watching mom deteriorate by turning to drugs.
Turns away from past with drugs by returning home and reconnecting with family, but never forgets the lessons he learned. Thus, he finds a healthy balance between his past and present.
“Sometimes without conscious realization, our thoughts, our faith, out interests are entered into the past...sometimes we think if we could just go back in time we would be happy. But anyone who attempts to reenter the past is sure to be disappointed...he has gone onto a new and different life, and in thinking longingly of the past, he has been giving thought and interest to something that no longer really exists.”
The Author's Journey
Goes to New York to live with Bubeh
Worked in leather factory
Meets Dennis
Leaves factory
Gets involved with a pimp
Goes back to Dennis
Ruth Comes Home
Ruth's mother got sick
Comes home
Stays for a while
Leaves for good
Never sees her family again
Goes back to New York and Dennis
Gets married
Converts to Christianity
Has seven kids
Dennis dies
Here Comes James
Ruth Leaves Home
Always bossed around
Lacked attention from his mom
Went to school
Suffolk, Virginia
Louisville, Kentucky
Wilmington, Delaware
Oberlin, Ohio
Time Period
New York City
The Color of Water
By James McBride
Father was Rabbi
Lived in the South
Corrupt family life
Family owned store
Ruth Returns
-Hiding from his fear
-Feeling wronged and lost

"I felt I was getting back at the world for the injustices I had suffered, but if you sat me down and asked me which injustices I was talking about, I wouldn't have been able to name them if my life depended on it." (McBride)

Confusion, anxiety, remorse, fear and frustration are some of the most typical emotions of a child who has lost a parent. ("Loss of a Parent")
-Made him turn away from family
-Ignored future
-Took refuge in drugs and friends
-Tired of running from his past
-Also tired of not knowing his past

"It had gotten to the point where I didn't see why she made
such a secret of it, and the part of me that wanted to understand who I was began to irk and itch at me..." (McBride).

"There were two worlds bursting inside of me trying to get out. I had to find out who I was, I had to find out who my mother was." (McBride)

-She never felt loved by her family
-Disliked her home

"My father, he was a fox" (McBride)
- Her to move to New York
-Lost contact with her family
-Him to search for his mothers past
-Travel to Suffolk
-Francis, Aunt
-Interview her, create this book

-Shut out from Jewish family
-Not getting any happiness from Judaism
-Felt guilty
-Conversion to Christianity
-Found her own church
-Relationship with Dennis
James is born
Ruth remarries
Step-father dies
Rebellious Stage
Dropped out of school
Fell into the wrong crowd
Got addicted to drugs
*Internal conflict when his step-father dies*
Turn Around
Has an encounter with God
Finds music
Gets back into school
Goes to college
Character Conflicts
Being sexually abused by Tateh
Constant friction of her mother and father's marital relationship
The promise made to Dee Dee and Mameh that she wouldn't go back to New York
Death of husbands

Constantly tried to find out who his mother was and who he was as well
Step-father's death caused him to turn from his family to a life of drugs and crimes with friends
Mother sent him to a cousin's house in the summer where he met Chicken Man and the guys on "The Corner"
Took a car ride with his mother one day and it all changed--from there he turned to God and music

Rabbi Shilksy (Tateh)
Mrs. Shilsky (Mameh)
Mrs. Dawson

Work Cited
"Loss of a Parent." Loss of a Mother or Father. The Psychology Career Center, 2008-2013. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
This was usefull to help us understand the death of the mother and the father.
McBride, James. The Color of Water. Sydney, NSW: Sceptre, 2000. Print.
N.d. Photograph. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.
Visual Aid
N.d. Photograph. Ruth. Mullendr11H, 2013. Web. 2 Oct. 2013. <mullendr11h.wikispaces.com>.
1996: The Color of Water. 1996. Photograph. The Telling Stories of the Century. Colombia Journalism School. Web. <http://centennial.journalism.columbia.edu/1995-the-color-of-water/>.
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