The Color of Water

Explain how the theme of hiding and suppressing people's feelings and emotions comes up in the novel. Include James, Ruth, and Ruth's aunts.

Hidding feelings

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Ruth's biological family was not close. They rarely shared feelings with each other. Ruth's aunts tended to be cold and her father was a tyrant. Ruth was a good mother to her kids but was very pragmatic. She told her kids what to do and what to believe in thinking that her advice really was born out of much pain, experience, and refection. Although her teachings were morally strong, she often failed to really listen to James.