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Color Of Water Essay, Research Paper

Conflicts between parents and children can be especially harmful when they occur at

an early age. They open up emotional wounds that aren t easy to heal and determine

what kind of a person you are bound to be. People are faced with many conflicts

throughout their lives, some are worse than others. How they chose to deal with them

plays a great impact on their future. In The Color of Water, Ruth McBride was faced

with both physical and mental abuse from her father. She escaped it by running away

from home.

Ruth s father was a religious man, a rabbi. He preached at the synagogue and taught

the Bible in school. Behind closed doors, he was a violent and cruel man who broke

the law of God and violated his own daughter. Ruth said, My father did things to me

when I was a young girl that I couldn t tell anyone about. Such as getting in bed with me

at night and doing things to me sexually. Any time her father had a chance he would

molest her.

Ruth felt afraid and betrayed, but she had no one to turn to. Ruth said, I dreaded him

and I was relieved anytime he left the house. She had no love for her father at all. What

was happening to her felt like a nightmare. She couldn t tell anyone about the abuse that

was going on. Her father was a rabbi, and people put faith in religious figures; no one

would listen to her cries for help. Therefore, Ruth was forced to keep the anger and hurt

inside her for many years.

What he did to her affected her in a lot of ways. Growing up Ruth had a very low self-

esteem which haunted her for many years. She didn t want to be around anyone who

tried to push her around, because it made her nervous. Fears of being trapped by

her father made her claustrophobic. She I can t stand feeling stuck or trapped in a place

Ruth s father didn t allow her to have any friends, her whole childhood revolved

around the store that they owned. She worked there from morning till night, except for

school. She said, he had us timed for that. He d be standing in the road outside the

store with his hands on his hips at three p.m. sharp The store was her life. Being a

teenage girl Ruth wanted to have nice clothes, she wanted to go on a date, to love

someone. She couldn t do that with her rigid father always watching her every step.

The only escape for Ruth was to run away. She saw it as the only was out. Her dad

once said Don t break the law of the Bible. Her father s hypocrisy is ironic, since he

put the fear of God in her by disobeying the Bible himself. Ruth rebelled against her

father by running away and later on by marring a black man. It was her way of getting

back at her father for all the pain that he has caused her.

Ruth s alternative to run away made a great impact on her future. She was torn

between both happiness and guilt. The man she married brought happiness in her life.

He taught me about things I d never heard of, she says. He taught her about religion,

people, equal rights and books. She converted herself to Christianity and found new hope

in life. I accepted Jesus and He has never let me down from that day to this, Ruth says.

Ruth s life was fulfilled except for the guilt she carried for leaving her mother

younger. My mother is one person in this world I didn t do right by, she says. She

regrets abandoning her mother as well as, not saying, I love you, and I am sorry to her.

Ruth was depressed for months. She lost weight and couldn t eat and was near suicide.

Every action comes with its consequences. Ruth s choice to run away brought some

good and bad into her life. She raised twelve wonderful children was married twice to

two remarkable men. Even thought Ruth never got over the pain of her mother, she felt

like she lived a fulfilled life.


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