The Color Of Water By James Mcbride Essay

1475 Words Nov 5th, 2015 6 Pages
People are always looking for their identity, whether it’s the one their parents created for them, or the one they built for themselves. Humans want to know their identity, just as the Ruth and James in The Color of Water, by James McBride, wanted. The book is called the Color of Water because James asked his mother, Ruth, if God was black or white, and she responded that “God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color” 1. This is a pinnacle moment because it shows the reader that identity may not only be about the color of one’s skin, but also the disposition of a person. This book was written as a juxtaposition between his mother’s life and his own. Her chapters were written from interviews and are formatted in italics. Three cross-cultural communications concepts can be used when analyzing the characters’ journeys in this true story. These concepts are Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, Impression Management Theory, and cognitive dissonance. Bennett’s Model focuses on the spectrum of ethnocentrism and ethnorelativism. Impression Management Theory is “The way by which individuals try to control the impressions others have on them” 2. Lastly, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, cognitive dissonance is “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously”. Although James and Ruth grew up in different time periods, they had similar awakenings in terms of culture, race, and religion that…

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