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
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
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.