The Color of Water
Early childhood experiences are what influence a person to be who they are when they grow up and become an adult. If someone was neglected in their childhood maybe they would grow up adopting a child, or if someone grew up being poor they would give money to charity. Ruchel Dwajra Zylska is faced with a similar predicament in the novel, The Color of Water, by James McBride. Rachael was brought up in an abusive and cruel relationship with her father, Fishel Shilsky, which ultimately affected her future experiences with men.
A child and a parent’s relationship influences greatly on choosing a spouse in the future. If a child was neglected and abused during their childhood then they would obviously want a husband who is opposite of those parents. They wouldn’t want to end up the same way. As a child Ruth was sexually abused by her father and as a result she was terrified of him. This made her feel inferior to everyone else. “I was afraid of Tateh and had no love for him at all… But it affected me in a lot of ways… I had very low self-esteem as a child” (McBride 42). This low self-esteem due to her father’s actions led Ruth to choose a black spouse. A white spouse would constantly remind Ruth of her father. “Tateh had no patience, and he’d often stop you in the middle of your verse to scold you or slap you if you showed dis-interest in the bible” (McBride 62). She would most definitely have given into abuse from her husband as well. Thus the influence of a parent’s relationship is very critical in ones choosing a spouse.
Fishel Shilsky was an Orthodox rabbi who escaped from the Russian army and snuck over the Polish border. He got into an arranged marriage with a woman named Hudis. He is characterized as a selfish, cruel and abusive human being to his wife, children and everyone else. Ruth’s relationship with her father was not a healthy one. The worst part is that he sexually abused her at times. “My father...