'Shabine' is the story of Justene, a mixed race woman who is constantly mocked for being poor, of mixed heritage, and presumably promiscuous. She was taunted with the words jamette and shabine (half white, or of mixed heritage) on the streets. The story opens with the narrator explaining that she had a fiery temper, which she unleashed on her tormentors when provoked. Her two sons, Gold and Silver, were subjected to similar taunts, with Silver reacting in the same way as his mother, while Gold tried to do damage control. The reader then learns that Justene had lived with her mother, who was a maid in Justene's father's house. It is implied, by the narrator, that her mother invited white sailors surreptitiously into her house to sleep with Justene. The rest of the story is filled with the narrator's regret for what could have existed between him and Justene.
The name of the Caribbean island is not mentioned.
The story is set around the time of WWII, when American troops were prevalent in the Caribbean.
She is described as having 'pale, reddish skin colour, the mass of coarsish red hair that resembled the wool of sheep, the grey eyes ... the chocolate freckles.' (Simmonds-McDonald, p.14). She is very coy and provocative, as can be seen in her response to the narrator. She does not fear her taunters, but boldly defends herself. She is fiercely protective of her children, as can be seen when she defends them. She is a proud woman who does not want her children to stoop to the level of their taunters.
He is male.
He seems to be completey enthralled by Justene, as is seen with the token gift of paradise plums, that he ritualistically left for her on the gate post. He mourns the loss of the possibility of a future that he might have had with Justene.
Gold - Justene's son. He had thick wooly red curls, red bushy eyebrows,...