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Word Count: 746
The epilogue of the powerful biography and memoir The Color of Water by James McBride is a very symbolic closing of this deeply powerful book of a womans struggle to escape a painful heritage and a biracial childs journey to understand what his heritage makes of him In just a few pages McBride shines a light on how deeply interwoven his mother and his lives are and perfectly captures the essence of the story hes spun In the brief final pages Ruth McBride-Jordan and her son James McBride attend a traditional Jewish wedding in a synagogue This is the first time Ruth has confronted the culture and to some measure family she left more than 50 years ago and the first time James has been so close to the heritage he and his mother share McBrides epilogue symbolically shows the closer to Ruth and James on the heritage that Ruth left and their peace with the decisions madeIn The Color of Water family naturally plays a very important role For Ruth it is both what she escaped from and what she dedicated her too for Jamesthe middle of twelveit is what makes him who he is In the epilogue in many ways Ruth and James have nearly opposite reactions While James looks over at the crowd he sees how his mother blends perfectly with the mostly eastern European faces around her McBride 283 Throughout the book and to some measure his life James has been convinced that his mothers past still meant something help some charm for her When he is a child he quizzes her on her family even though she tells him repeatedly Im removed from my familyIm dead In this moment in the epilogue as he describes how his mother laughs and jokes with the Jewish ladies McBride 284 James is holding on to the idea that Ruth is still in some small way a part of this worldRuth does not
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