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The Color of Water

Chapters 5-8

TermDefinition
Why was Ruth's father a traveling preacher? He was hard as a rock, not so smooth-talkin'. His contract was never renewed so her family would move to another location.
When did love come natural to Ruth? She was able to love naturally when she became a Christian.
How old was Ruth when her family moved to Suffolk, Virginia? about 8 or 9 years old
Why didn't her mom want to move down south? Mameh's sisters and parents lived in NYC.
Ruth introduces us to one of her first experiences with segregation when she moves to Suffolk...what was it? (p.39) Ruth notices there are two movie theaters; one for black folks, one for white folks. She also mentions there were black and white sections of town.
Ruth says the folks from Suffolk loved sideshows that would come through town. They loved anything new, different, or from out of town except... Jews.
How does Ruth know it is so easy to hurt a child? She was bullied and made fun of as a child in Suffolk.
Although most of Ruth's father's actions are not commendable, what does he do towards the end of chapter 5 that models good behavior for Ruth and her siblings? He puts his foot down and finds a way to open a store in a "black section" of town. He doesn't care what those at the synagogue think. He figured he would be out of a job soon anyway. He showed no discrimination against black folks.
Ruth opens up about her parents' relationship. How does Tateh treat Mameh? Tateh becomes more evil than before. He criticizes her about the way she looks and her disability. He asked her, "Why do you even bother trying to look pretty?"
Why was Tateh and Mameh's marriage a business deal? Tateh only wanted money and to be an American.
Who were the employees that ran "Old Man Shilsky's Store?" His family! The kids would come running to the store once they got off their bus.
A form of escape for Ruth ever since she was a little girl was to.. run anywhere.
One reason why she always loved to escape/run away from her father was because... he would molest her whenever he could get alone with her.
Why does Ruth have an immense amount of respect for James's biological father? She was lucky to meet him. He basically "saved" her from the terrible life she had been leading. He taught her about a God who lifted [her] up and forgave [her].
How did James and his siblings flip an awkward moment to a humorous one? Rather than be completely embarrassed and upset with their mother for having such a terrible singing voice, they watched to see how others would react and just listened themselves.
What was Mommy a connoisseur of & what caused James to be in awe at church? Mommy was a connoisseur of ministers and James was in awe of the spirited women in church who were overcome by God's blessings/power.
One day when James questions his mother whether God is black or white, she responds.. God is the color of water. Water doesn't have a color.
Why did Richie stop going to Sunday school? The minister could not justify why the picture of Jesus was white.
How did Billy mess up on Easter one year? He forgot the bible story he was to recite in front of the entire church.
Who did Ruth and Dee-Dee see drive by one day while working in their family store? The Ku Klux Klan
Why didn't Ruth allow her kids to play with toy guns? She always feared death and guns growing up. Someone she knew accidentally killed himself when he was cleaning a gun. She knew her father cleaned his gun very often but never wished death upon him.
We find out later that although Tateh organized a business in the black section of town he didn't respect any of the black folks. How did he show his lack of respect? He would call them names in Yiddish and laugh about how they barely had any money. Black folks barely had money but they were happy being a family, whereas his family now had money but were all miserable.
What was Sam's (Ruth's brother) story? Tateh worked him harder than Ruth or her sister, Dee-Dee. He grew tired of working the long hours, getting treated poorly, and never having any friends. He was about 15 when he ran away (1934) from home and ended up in Chicago. Ruth never saw him again.
How did Ruth find out about Sam's death? When James's father died (1957), she called her aunt. Ruth's aunt told Ruth her brother died in WW2 and to stay out of their lives!
Why were James and his siblings best friends and enemies at the same time? There was never enough food in the household for all the children. They would hide food from one another.
Why did Mommy constantly bring up Dennis? Dennis was the eldest sibling and family pioneer. He was successful and finished college.
Describe Helen (James's second-eldest sister). She was the most artistic. She wore "Stop the War" buttons. She was followed by many boys in school. She stopped playing for church, quit school, preaching to the older siblings saying, "Fight the Man," and ran away after a fight with Rosetta.
Created by: cgambettchs