After reading the book, there were many themes, which would bring about great discussion in class. I was looking though at the race theme. I want to note on a personal level. I loved the title of McBride’s first Novel: “The Color of Water’. This title comes up from an explanation to the young McBride from his mother. The question that was asked was what color is God? McBride’s mother was white, and his father was black. So growing up McBride discusses some of the racial questions he had in regard to the different back round and physical characteristics of his mother and then of his father. His mother so poetically answer’s young McBride’s questions with, “God is the color of Water”. A statement which has wonderful meaning on a theological level, is so simplistic and child like, that to believe and take ‘mom-McBride’s’ words, your faith must be child like in love.
Well, now with the “Miracle at St. Anna” it’s McBride’s turn to use colorful language to express the thought that God, Jesus and his angles are universal in their love, and that there is no color skinned associations.
…He’d learn that even his own life wasn’t his own. It belonged to God. Other than his mother and his grandmother, he had no stake in anyone, anyplace, and land, anything except for this little somebody. ..In the destiny of Train’s own thick mind, the walls of impossibilities loomed ahead never occurred to him, the centuries of granite, concrete, steel-strong prejudice that awaited him back in America. This boy was a miracle. He was an angle. AN ANGEL HAD NO COLOR…the boy was like him. He was nobody. He was invisible. (210)
This leads into what I wanted to talk about today in class.
My Agenda Item is to talk about how these four American soldiers have been treated one way by their ‘peer’ soldiers, and then the way that they must have felt staying with the village people who welcomed them. (at first they were a little hesitant to have the soldiers stay but they warmed up to it later)
These people opened their home, conversed, ate, and shared with the four American soldiers.
How does that differ from the experiences they faced back in America?
How does that differ from the experiences they faced while in the service?
McBride, takes the race issue, and I feel almost eliminates for the reader the notice of segragating because of ethnic, religous, moral differences. McBride is sensitive to the challenges different people face, and doesn’t abolish the struggles the person faces, however stresses the importance of the Transendent (God) over differences in eachother. McBride gives autonomy to the characters and their struggles; the story uses the boy, village people of Bornacchi to give examples of an equality among friends, and to strip it all down, among human beings.
Some pages to look at for the differences between the interaction of these four soldiers in America, working in the service with Americans, and then when in the village making friends with the people who took them in.
Soldiers in America: Pg. 7 Pg.190
Soldiers interaction with other soldiers: Pg.31 Pg.71 Pg.210
Interaction with Bornacchi townspeople: Pg.108 Pg. 110 Pg.114-116 Pg.131 Pg.160/161 Pg.168/169 Pg. 183 Pg.187 Pg.188/189 Pg.192 Pg.197 Pg. 190 Pg.192