The Color Of Water Identity Analysis

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Influences of Identity When reading The Color of Water, a story of how a man and his mother became the unique individuals they are today, we learn that analyzing our influences teaches us the type of people we are. In the novel we learn about Ruth McBride Jordan, and James McBride’s biological and environmental circumstances and how they develop them into the beings they’ve become. Ruth’s strength and willingness to confront grievances, and James’ appreciation and diligence portray their characters and prove to us all that there is nothing to stop us from finding who we are. When introduced into the story at a young age, Ruth immediately appears as a strong person. “I’m a citizen and you’re not. I can send you back to Europe anytime…show more content…
Her willingness to confront grievances and stand up when she has to is what made her into such a unique person. Generally self-spoken, Ruth knew when it was her turn to talk. When she went to claim her husband Dennis’ deceased body at the High Point Train Station, a white clerk questioned her claims of being his wife, but Ruth insisted, “No, that is my husband there. That is my husband I’ve come here to bury him and he is with me!” (245) Although it caused a little commotion it was Ruth’s husband and she was not going to let a little white clerk stand in the way of her husband. Further on, another less dramatic, yet equally important portrayal of this attribute surfaced when James was struggling to find a satisfying career. After living a life of poverty, Ruth of all people understood how important a balanced income is. “You’re getting steady money now, a lot of it. Don’t you dare quit that job!” (265) It is clear she wanted what was best for James and knew she was the only one with authority to tell him what to do what his life, so she did the motherly thing when she needed too. “Now what are you gonna do!? You had a second chance and you threw it out the window! You need a job!” (266) The examples we saw of Ruth voicing her opinion were when she was standing up for what was right, when perhaps nobody else would have. Her willingness to speak up and confront important situations is what created such a dynamic
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