, Research Paper

Phillip Souzek

Susan Vervaet

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English 111 Section ( 06 )

September 27, 2000

The Color of Water: Book Review

In this memoir, the writer chooses to hold two storytellers, himself as one, and his female parent as the other. This manner makes for rather an interesting narrative, jumping back and Forth in clip, from the kid & # 8217 ; s life, to that of his female parent. Although many clip alterations occur, they are rather easy to maintain up with, as the two storyteller & # 8217 ; s of the book, James, and his female parent, surrogate chapters. For this ground, it is besides really easy to compare the childhood of each of the chief characters. Although the chapters aren & # 8217 ; t ever during the same clip periods of the several characters, they are close enough that similarities can be seen, and analogues can be drawn. This is one of my favourite parts of the novel, seeing the chief character, James, turn up with his female parent Rachel.

In drumhead, the writer tells the narrative of both his female parent, and himself turning up. His female parent was raised Judaic, but became Christian before James was born, which was therefore the faith he was raised in. Both had really rigorous subject, in their several faiths. The memoir focuses more on Rachel, who grows up in a Judaic household life in a state and country where Hebrews are non good received. After lasting this, and sexual maltreatment as a kid, Rachel goes on to run off from place, and marries a caring black adult male from New York. Here she settles down, has a household, and raises 12 childs, while being invariably harassed because of her matrimony, every bit good as her kids, who are all of a different colour than her. After eight kids, her hubby dies, and she remarries to a adult male of similar ethical motives, race, and subject. James, the concluding kid of the original male parent, grows up cognizing merely the step-father as & # 8220 ; daddy & # 8221 ; , and suffers the adversities of turning up in a multi-racial household, which ever seems to be in the minority.

This memoir was written chiefly for the writer & # 8217 ; s involvement, and non the reader & # 8217 ; s, which decidedly makes it alone. Although it is merely like any other book, in that its prosperity will be judged by gross revenues every bit good as how it affects readers, the writer merely went through all of the research done in composing this book in order to slake his ain thirst for happening out where his roots lay. This is rather apparent in the reading, which seems to advert the history, and narrative behind about everyone, every bit good as every topographic point. This makes for many interesting narratives, but often-times 1s that are excessively preoccupied with demoing the reader what it meant to the writer, and non as concerned with the enjoyment of the reader.

This, of class, spawns another job. With an writer who is merely concerned with demoing the reader how it affected himself, you are deprived of what you truly want to cognize about a given character. James has eleven Bs

rothers and sisters, all of which have something to add to the narrative, and yet the expounding given to each of them is far from satisfactory. Much more item could hold been given on what they thought of their female parent, how each of them found out about her, who teaches and lives the motto “Don’t tell anyone your business.” For this ground, the kids have the challenge of delving up the truth about their female parent, and James takes it to the following degree, by composing a book.

What the book does offer a younger reader, like myself, is insight as to what it was like to turn in the 1950 & # 8217 ; s and 60 & # 8217 ; s in a biracial household. The adversities that these kids, James particularly, and his female parent endure, are depicted rather good. Each shows how strong of a individual Rachel was, and besides helped to beef up the kids, which would profit them subsequently in life.

However, the most of import thing that came from these anecdotes of racism in the memoir was what it taught me, as a reader. The manner that Mommy reacted during each of these cases showed that you genuinely could disregard people that have nil good to state, and acquire off with it. She can learn about any reader that it doesn & # 8217 ; t pay off to travel loony on person, and that disregarding him or her and walking off does look to be the best solution, and is a mark of strength that outweighs acquiring in a battle, whether you win or lose.

This memoir besides teaches a good lesson on faith. Although Rachel was raised in a Judaic household that was tainted by sexual maltreatment, and a deficiency of love, she realizes by the terminal of the book that portion of her is Judaic, and that non everything Judaic is bad. There are plentifulness of households, organisations, and get-togethers that exist in all faiths which a batch of good can and does come from. Nearly anybody who believes in a God will be less prone to perpetrate violent Acts of the Apostless, and more likely to assist out a alien. Rachel does go a Christian, and Jesus truly did assist her in her clip of demand, if you ask her ; but no affair what the faith, religion can assist out many people in their clip of demand. This book shows what Christianity did for Mommy, and what good came of all the Judaic friends she had from before go forthing the faith.

This book & # 8217 ; s construction wasn & # 8217 ; t written absolutely, and it surely wasn & # 8217 ; Ts concerned with winning any awards, but it had a intent. It gave the writer a better sense of who he is, and can give many readers much more than that ; valuable lessons in life. To rate this book on things such as construction, vocabulary, and even gross revenues would be to lose the full point of the memoir. Read it as a memoir with great penetration and a darn good proprietors manual on how to acquire along in this universe, and I can vouch you won & # 8217 ; t be let down ; in fact, you will likely be rather impressed. But if what you & # 8217 ; re looking for is a book that needs to populate up to the criterions of a great piece of literature, you & # 8217 ; re looking in the incorrect topographic point.


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