The Color of Water

While reading discriptions of the childrens hunger did you wonder why Ruth did not seek some kind of government assistance?

From the book color of water

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I think you had to understand Ruth's sense of fierce independence. Ruth was used to overcoming misery. It was perhaps less than fair to expose her children to this but I don't think Ruth would have let them starve. She simply taught them to percerviere and make do with what they had. Ruth was not the type to accept government assistance but she was also not the type to ever let her children down.