The story is told from the perspective of her son, James McBride. The mother, Ruth McBride, is an extremely confident and strong character as we can see from the quote of ” leave me alone”,” Don’t bother me” and I ” I don’t want no parts of them” which further illustrate that she can be independent as she does not want to be part of the family, whereby a family should be a place to welcome you ,give you warmth, care about you and try their best to help you no matter what happens or how difficult to settle the problems.Ruth was born in Poland 1921 and was brought up by an Orthodox Jewish tradition and She tried to change her name as well as her religion from the quote of “Jewish name”, “got rid of that name” and ” I never used it again” which further shows that she detestation being a Jewish and worst still having a Jewish name. Furthermore, from the quote of “I left Virginia for good” which illustrate her childhood with her family is not happy at all, it seems like a torture, a torture for her and felt relieved with the breakaway from that place, to pull herself away from there. Nevertheless, the quotes ” too many rules to follow” , ” too many forbidden” , “you cant’s” , ” you mustn’t” expand the part of the reason for Ruth not being a Jews anymore, it just seems that they were limited to certain areas of actions, ways of thinking as well as the speech which will be tedious for those people like Ruth.
Not just that even just having a meal, from this quote” you had to use different table settings for every meal, different tablecloths, different dishes,forks,spoons,knives,everything” illustrate that even just a simple task in daily life, they had made it so complicated. Moreover, they were superstitious as I can refer this from the quote of “didn’t talk about death” and “spit on the floor when they said the word ‘death'” perchance that they think that after saying such word will bring bad luck to their family. So, from what I had seen so far I can say that being a Jewish is tough and it is like to discipline yourself.Next, as Ruth is the daughter of a strict and miserable rabbi, I could refer this idea from the quote of “Orthodox rabbi”, “he was a fox”, and “he was hard as a rock”. From a Jewish turning into a Christian, Ruth marries a black man, African-American, which is taboo, manages to raise 12 children and put them all through college. As it is a taboo, there will be gossips about the relationship in between them as well as prejudice against them whereby blacks and whites will never get along well together. She moved to New York to marry that black man at the same time her family pronounced her dead to them which I can see from the quote of “I been dead to them for fifty years. One of the characteristic that James wrote about his mother was the oddness in her as well as she is old fashioned by referring to this quote ” went out of style a hundred years ago?” and also, the quote of ” a grown-up no less? I couldn’t handle it” maybe he felt that his mother was too childish and his own embarrassment.
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James always thought that his mother was strange and moreover, matters involving race and identity she was ignored. Perhaps, Ruth does not want the children to think too much and to the extend whereby they knew that there are difference in between them. Furthermore, Ruth does not cared to socialize with the neighbors and does not like to share her privacy to others which gives outsiders a sense of weirdness in her which usually one see a person in whole including family. Thus, this alienates her from everyone which led to isolation of her within the place. Nevertheless, from the quote “when they go one way, you go the other way” shows that Ruth is causing her next generation to be like her, being isolated by the peoples.When James was young, he asked about where does his mother come from, how she got on this earth as she is white.
Even though her mother told him that god made her, Ruth still emphasis that she is not white but just light-skinned which further exemplify that she does not want her child to have discrimination towards her. Moreover, She raised all of her children as Christians, and took their involvement in church very seriously as well as the education in school, referring from the quote of “educate your mind, school is important and “god made me” Even the family members of hers does not know her well from the quote ” we traded in formation on Mommy the way people trade baseball cards” and “refused to divulge details about herself or her past” which shows that even her does not trust anyone even the close one of hers. She keeps everything to herself and not revealing things to her family which cause her children to get her background information by doing trading.Move on, James was worried that he was adopted as his brother Richard told him that his real mother was in jail. He does not feel a sense of belonging as well as physically he does not think that he and his mother look alike as his family was in all kinds of shades of black.
From the quote “niggers are scared of revolution” and “swallowed the white man’s fear of Negro” I could evaluate that there is a show of sign that racial discrimination was very common by then. Furthermore, association like Black Panther and Black power revel that in that period of time black was much stronger and powerful then the whites. Therefore, it stress on that there was a big racial difference in that moment of time.From the quote “contradiction lived and survived ” implies that although white were implicitly evil towards blacks, Ruth forced her children to go to white schools to get the best education; which further support the view as I had mention above that Ruth take education for her children seriously, though blacks could be trusted however the standard of education was not up to the expectation.Nonethless,we will realize that Ruth does not like discrimination from the quote ” she couldn’t stand racists of either color” Soon, James realized that her mother was always in danger from the start of robbery by the two men which also means that due to racial discrimination, crimes are usually target on the minority of the racial groups in that country.