The Color of Water

Does Helen leave to escape her chaotic home life or to escape her mother whose very apperance confuses her about who she is?

What made Helen leave?

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She left after having a huge fight with her sister, she also left in an attempt to find herself

James's sister Helen quit school, became a hippie, and rejected what she labeled the "white man's education." One night, after an explosive fight with her sister Rosetta, fifteen-year-old Helen ran away from home. While Ruth soon discovered that Helen was staying with her sister Jack, she could not convince Helen to come home. Helen then disappeared from Jack's, this time for months. When Ruth finally learned she had moved to a room in a bad neighborhood, she attempted once again to convince her to return home. Without a word, Helen refused to see her.

Ruth's own daughter Helen also leaves home at fifteen. Helen initially refuses to come home or discuss her sudden departure. However, Ruth's separation from her family differed from Helen's separation from her mother. While Ruth is irreversibly alienated from her Jewish family, Ruth does not cut off ties with her daughter, but repeatedly encourages her to come home. Ruth's father told her never to return, but Ruth plead with Helen to come back so they can talk through their differences