This is a chapter by chapter summary of James McBride's "The Color of Water."

Essay by PnkVintageRockerCollege, Undergraduate October 2003

download word file, 13 pages 4.7

Downloaded 119 times

Ruchel Dwajra Zylska was an immigrant. Her father was an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. Her parents got rid of that name when they moved to America. They changed her name to Rachel Deborah Shilsky. Rachel's parents were opposite from each other. Her mother (Hudis) was an incredibly nice woman who was very beautiful inside and out but had a few physical disabilities. Such as she was half blind and had trouble walking "normally." Her father (Fishel Shilsky) was mean and rude. His main problem was that he was conceited. He cared more about his store and himself than his family. He treated his family cruelly and showed no remorse or regret while doing so. Rachel lived a life in Virginia where she had no control over even basic, everyday tasks. Her father abused her for no reason.

After leaving Virginia for good when she was nineteen (1941), Rachel changed her name to Ruth. For her, changing her name to Ruth symbolized the death of one life and a fresh beginning on another. Ruth felt there were too many rules to follow as a Jew.

Ruth was a very odd character full of weird habits. That is what made her seem so real, though. Ruth had a habit of riding her bicycle through the neighborhood. She began riding her bicycle after her second husband's death (Hunter Jordan). Hunter was the father of four of the twelve children. All knew him as "Daddy." James was embarrassed when his mother went riding her bicycle around the neighborhood. She did not care, though. Everyday she would ride her bike, as awkward as she was, all around the neighborhood until one day she just stopped.

Ruth's parents had a horrible married life. She explains that her father and mother's wedding was arranged and not...