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English Language and Literature


Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is a tragic American story. We empathize with Pecola suffering as a little black girl who wanted blue eyes more than anything. She was born to a mother obsessed with a fantastical Hollywood ideal and a father who was abandoned in a trash heap as a baby. Pecola’s father rapes her and she becomes pregnant. In The Bluest Eye, Pecola’s baby does not survive, but it is possible to imagine a world that includes her.

This work imagines that Pecola’s baby survives and Claudia, a friend to Pecola in The Bluest Eye, names her Sheba. In Lorain, Ohio, Sheba becomes known as “that baby” and without having to explain much more, everyone understood who was being talked about.

Claudia moves with Sheba to the Bahamas where they live with Claudia’s Aunt, Ma Ame. People in The Bahamas do not know what albinism is and can’t be bothered to figure out why Sheba is so much lighter than them. They do not care to know why her eyes and hair look like curry powder. They simply refer to her as “that girl with the pale skin” or “that girl with the funny eyes.” Sheba has low self-esteem, but it is Claudia’s hope that Sheba will become more than that.