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The Color of Water, by James McBride Essay

Project id 1016409
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 1796
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The publication, The Color of Water follows the writer and narrator James McBride and his mother Ruth's life, through their youth--when they were both embarrassed in their mother--through the component of their lives where they began to accept himself for who they were and are proud of that. Furthermore, this memoir is very distinctive as McBride cleverly parallels his narrative to his mother, Ruth's narrative by employing dual narration which further helps to contribute to the theme of self-identity. Through the novel, McBride searches for identity and a sense of self which derives from his multiracial family and through the use of two distinct narrations, McBride gradually establishes his identity. Plus by incorporating both narratives at the end, McBride also demonstrates that although both narrators at the beginning had different upbringing, in the end they are come together and understand each other's view. To start with, the double narratives of the text here present a unique combination of chronology and perspective. Moreover, noteworthy is also McBride's use of the rhetorical strategy of alternate chapters and parallelism. This can be seen when McBride remarkably places related chapters with each other to juxtapose the life of his mother and of himself. This allows one to observe the parallelism in the two lives and to understand the significance Rachel's life had on McBride. For instance, McBride places the chapter titled "Shul" and "School" next to each other with each giving a view of the problems they faced in school. Here both Ruth and James are struggling and are trying to fit in but are rejected as a result of racial and social conflicts. Another example is "The New Testament" and "The Old Testament." Both of these chapters revolve around the embarrassm...

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