The Color of Water

Explain this theme as it relates to Ruth’s use of authority versus that of her father? Did they raise their children in different ways? Were there any similarities? Why did Ruth raise her children as she did? By did Tateh?

The theme of “Household Governance” centers on the households run by both Tateh and Ruth.

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Household Governance

Tateh ruled his household without love: he did not love his wife, he sexually abused Ruth, and he practically enslaved his son Sam. Ruth ran her household with a similarly tight rein, disciplining her children with the belt and instituting an informal "king/queen system" where the eldest reigned over the other children and answered directly to her. She, in turn, deferred to God. In the end, however, the key difference that separates Tateh's rule from Ruth's is that Ruth ruled over her household and each of her children with love.