The Theme Of Childhood In James Mcbride's The Color Of Water

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The Color of Water is a memoir of James McBride’s life. James tells us about his struggles of childhood. In The Color of Water he went through phases which ranged between good and bad. James began to hang around with the wrong crowds and that did not develop him in a good way. He found out how it would affect him in the long run and decided to change how he was living. Growing up, the only father, James knew was Hunter Jordan. James biological father died before he was born. Hunter was the stable male of the family and was James role model. On weekends Hunter would come home and provide them with food and supplies they needed. In The Color of Water James states “He came home only on weekends, striding into the living room with bags of groceries, Entenmann’s cakes, a pocketful of dough, and a real live automobile …show more content…

James spent his time with Big Richard and his friends that hung out on “the corner”. The corner was not a place for a teenager to be. There was alcohol, drugs and crime all combined in one section of town. One of the friends, Chicken Man, sat down and talked to James and said “If you stay here, you’ll fool around…Go away and learn to live on your own.”(page 178-179) James witnessed the consequences that life brings with drugs, alcohol, violence and lack of education which helped him realize that he needed to change how he was as a person. In The Color of Water James noticed he needed a new beginning by saying “I needed to see some new faces, a fresh start.”(page 177) Their family moved to Delaware and James found music. Music was his escape from reality and helped him forget all the bad things that have happened in his life. James was recommended to go to Europe with the band and was sponsored by The Dawson’s. He had to work for The Dawson’s and in return they would pay for him to travel to Europe. Music is what got him into Oberlin College in Ohio because his SAT scores were not that

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