An Elusive Allusion (How it Feels to Be Colored Me)

Hello all!

This short story was on the shorter side out of all of the ones we have read so far, having a total of three pages. When reading it though, the first thing I noticed was this:

It seemed that I had suffered a sea change. I was no longer. I was not Zora of Orange County any more, I was now a little colored girl. 

The author alludes to Ariels song from “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare:

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that dory fade;

But doth suffer a sea change;

Into something rich and strange. 

I think the author makes this allusion to compare the transformation of Prospero to the transformation into how Zora is perceived by the people around her. The author is trying to give the reader the impression that Zora felt so strange by the drastic change in how everyone saw her, that it was extreme as her having gone through a “sea change.”  Although it is a small detail that many people could overlook, noticing it and understanding it adds a whole new layer of detail to the story. 

Another quotation on the last page caught my attention:

It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company! It’s beyond me. 

Out of context or in context, this is a great quotation. 

The author in this part is discussing how it is unfortunate that many people discriminate by race, because they will miss out on getting to know people as great as she is. The author goes on to talk about how skin color or race is similar to colored bags, the contents of which are all the same useless trinkets. 

-Paulie 🙂


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