The Popularity and Variety of Subjects in ‘Desiree’s Baby’
Why things like Bi-racial relationships, racism, slavery and lies played a major part in story Desiree’s Baby. Being bi-racial goes all the way back into the 1600’s. Back in the slave times it was a major disc race and frowned upon for the slave owners to marry and have babies with their slaves. But it really didn’t matter if you didn’t lmow. A lot of the fair skinned blacks could pass for white if their African features wasn’t strong. My mother, they tell me I am not white. When she found out that she wasn.t white she was in fact mixed or it bothered her. To be in that situation I would never know how it would feel.To be shunned behind something you didn’t know about is harsh.
Racism has played a big part because you can clearly see that Desiree and her husband was in love. He was very happy about the baby until he found out she was indeed black. No one will ever know where this all began. And why racism began and is still ongoing. In todays society you can still see it happening. On tv, in restaurants. It was a major deal back in the 1600’s. That such owners had to shun their lovers and children over something as minor as color. Being black was more so a death wishes than a happy thing.
Racism in this story was a major problem because Her husband was confused on what to do because in fact he fell in lovewith her. But because of what people think of you. From the outside looking in her husband could have handled this situation better but failed to. Oh, Armand is the proudest father in the parish. Slavery started long before1600’s but it was recorded in the 1600’s. No one really knows the root and the cause of it. If you got caught with the opposite race you were killed, and/or your children taken. So, if it meant to shun your loved one and children to protect them that’s what a lot of owners did. A lot of lies had to be told especially with the parents of the fair skinned women because in attempts to give them better lives and keep them out of harms way they lied to a lot of them. Some was told to lie. It was her mother that finally told Desiree the truth when she asked her mother what was going on. It didn’t sit well with her and she knew then what she had to do. It takes a lot to walk away from what you love but she did that with her child. What should be taken away from this story is no matter what the issue is you should always deal with it respectfully. Some things you must just walk away from. As these dilemmas are still going on today it should show people that slavery, racism, lies, should not define anyone but define you.
The Storyline and Love Line Between the Main Characters in ‘Desiree’s Baby’
Speaking about “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, Desiree is a gentle, kind, and a loving person. In this story, she is unknown about her husband, Armand, went from being “The proudest father in the parish” to having a unusual, a very unpleasant change in her husband’s actions, which she afraid to ask him about. In addition to this, there are still some people in this society where people were measured by racial purity. More importantly, love need to supplant any kind of prejudice or racist ideology. Love is the only one thing that can make this world a happier place to live.
Specifically, Love is the pure form of showing emotions from one to another. Considering “Desiree’s Baby” tragedy overtake Desiree and her baby, and at last her husband too. So, if there was love between them, the scenario could be a good and happy ending. In my opinion, Desiree could use so many options such as she need to talk with Armand about the matter and try to figure out the good solution or she need to talk with one expert psychologist to resolve this matter. So, this tells me that we need to love ourselves as well as our family. Nowadays, people just forget about their life and health, if they have any big problems.
Indeed, Armand was so happy, when he found out that his wife is having a baby. He was much happier than before as he was being good with his slaves as well. He was just a wonderful person as it seemed at that moment, and when the time came out, he found out that his baby is dark skinned color then, he turned down to his own wife and blame her for the mixed baby. This clearly shows that racial prejudice clearly succeeded love between Desiree and Armand.
As a matter of fact, our world is a beautiful place. People can make it even better if we all live in peace and harmony rather than war and racial prejudice. Love should be between every couples in each and every part of the country of the whole world. People should spread love rather than hate to make this world a better place to live. In my opinion, social awareness regarding this should be spread out around the whole world by different kinds of medias including facebook, twitter, television programs, street dramas, and so on. The more love spreads the happier people will be and eventually a beautiful world for us is possible.
As a final point, the main theme of this short story is people are often judged by their appearances and racial purity. Moreover, after reading “Desiree’s Baby” I came to know that in early days, females were not in the same position as men were. This is the main reason why after having the baby Armand doubted his wife having a bad family background. When Desiree figured out that her husband no longer loves her and their child, it pusher her to leave and kill the child and herself. This clearly shows that racial prejudice succeeded the love between them. In addition to this, there were many incidents where white couples have dark skinned babies. However, in those cases people should understand the love between each other rather than arguing or measuring the people by races.
Description of Moods and Realism Characteristics in Desiree’s Baby
Realism was a vast literary movement characteristic of mid-nineteenth century, as an antiromantic reaction which emphasizes the relationship between art and reality. The indispensable tool of the artist’s art is careful observation of reality and it is true and objective reflection in written work. “Désirée’s baby” by Kate Chopin is a story with many characteristics of realism work. The story is set in Louisiana, it has no fictional characters and no divine intervention, showing us the society class of that time and also develops on real life struggles that were more likely to be found during that time period. We know Kate Chopin grew up in Missouri and lived for a period in Louisiana. She wrote the story after the slavery was abolished, and it was first published in 1893. Even if she is not telling us what year the story is taking place in, we can see based on some characteristics of pre-Civil War that the action takes place in the South, showing us the author’s views of a society, she had been living in. The use of the word bayou is an example of this:”she disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the bank of the deep, sluggish bayou”. Realism focuses on a natural way of living. The “bayou” word is a representative of the Louisiana region meaning swamps area that are geographically characteristics of that region. Another way of seeing the setting was developed there are the French names of all the characters : Madame Valmondé, Armand Aubigny, La Blanche and even the plantation their house is on is called L’Abri. We are also informed that ” French was the language spoken at Valmondé in those days”.
Another characteristic of South setting and also of the class difference between poor and rich is the mention of the slaves Armand owned. As the nineteenth century went on, industrialization and urbanization led to major social and economic changes. The rich and poor became divided, so the Romantic writers were focusing their writing on social class. These elements are the best reflected in Kate Chopin’s story. Both, Désirée and Armand come from rich families, and when rich at that time they owned the lower class of people, slaves. His plantation, L’Abri, owned by his father at first, Monsieur Aubigny, saw better times under the old owner. The old Monsieur Aubigny was kind and indulgent towards his slaves, but Armand’s rule “was a strict one, too, and under it his negroes had forgotten how to be gay”. The role of Realist writers was to write about everyday people doing everyday things. No influences of mystical characters were present in this story. Desiree has been adopted by the Valmonde family and they never questioned her history. They have loved and erase the child and she “grew to be beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere, -the idol of Valmondé. Her character is showing much dependency on her husband and how he perceives her. In that history times everything was done based on what the men wanted. Women roles in a marriage was to carry and erase the child, take care of the house, and to be at the husband disposal. Desiree fits the character perfectly. The story reveals that she never questioned her husband, even when he was gone to La Blanche cabin the month after she had the baby “Armand heard him the other day as far away as La Blanche’s cabin”. Her trust in him was unquestionable and in the end when he didn’t want her there anymore she chooses to kill herself. Madame Valmondé character shows the love a mother can have.
For her it didn’t matter where the girl was coming from or what origins might she have. She loved Desiree and thought “she had been sent to her by a beneficent Providence to be the child of her affection”. Because of the historical times this story is set on we can assume that no aricstocat family would have ever accepted a bi-racial grandson, but Madame Valmondé did not care about that. She wrote Desiree the letter, inviting her to go home with her baby to the mother that loves her “come home to Valmondé; back to your mother who loves you. Come with your child”. The difference between Madame Valmondé and Armand Aubigny has astonished me. He didn’t show any love in him. Even though he stops treating the slaves badly after Desiree had the child, he is described by Chopin as a cruel owner and someone that will probably treat his wife the same way he treats his slaves. The way the story develops, he can be considered a cheater and someone with no character. When the baby was three months old Desiree looked at one of La Blanche’s son and then at her baby and discovered the resemblance. Maybe not of the black color but most of the resemblance the kids had between them by having the same dad. “She looked from her child to the boy who stood beside him, and back again; over and over. Ah! It was a cry she could not help”. The ultimate power of men in those time give us a taste for the social issues problems they had then. He loved her at the beginning of the story but as soon as he presumed she was black he turned the love bottom off and was capable to push her and their son away from their home.
Comparison And Learning New
Kate Chopin excites and deserts amazing messages in two of her artful culminations her novel The Awakening and her short story Desiree’s Baby, the two of which have similarities regarding scholarly gadgets utilized as well as being significant of the seething social issues of the nineteenth century period. The two determinations are exceptionally arresting as they utilize the third individual perspective. Every story disentangles with an omniscient storyteller conveying the subtleties pass up blow. As far as setting, The Awakening happens in the Grand Isle, Louisiana and movements to New Orleans, while Desiree’s Baby unwinds in L’Abri.
In The Awakening, the New Orleans setting, which is noted for its music and social advancement, serves both as a practical scenery and a representative appearance of the female characters’ melodic tendencies, which thus symbolize their yearnings to increase some feeling of opportunity. The two choices mirror center to high society bourgeoisie society during the nineteenth century. There is more prominent spotlight on the slave exchange, however, in Desiree’s Baby. In any case, in both scholarly work the differentiation between social classes is depicted, yet in a progressively unpretentious route in The Awakening .
The focal point of both The Awakening and Desiree’s Baby is on the female lead characters Edna Pontellier for the previous, and Desiree for the last mentioned, who are on the double solid yet defenseless and in quest for acknowledgment and satisfaction. Edna and Desiree are both excellent young ladies endeavoring to diagram their individual predeterminations throughout everyday life, advance, and in the long run grapple with their own people in the wake of experiencing conditions in life that, to their psyche, are out of line or miss the mark regarding their desires. The creator uncovers the characters through direct portrayal and through other characters’ considerations and remarks about them. The Awakening and Desiree’s Baby are likewise comparable in that they convey titles that portray what the story is about. As far as plot, both The Awakening and Desiree’s Baby piece of information the pursuers in a tough situation that is blending which incorporates with a peak and prompts the unexpected completion. The later episodes in the two choices are implied or foreshadowed by the key characters themselves in the prior piece of every story.
Desiree’s Baby, then again, foretells the dismal completion directly toward the beginning, when Armand Aubigny’s home was portrayed in a melancholy sort of way:The roof came down steep and black like a cowl… big, solemn oaks grew close… their thick-leaved, far reaching branches shadowed it like a pall”. Much the same as in The Awakening, Kate Chopin’s propensity for likenesses is obvious during key occasions in Desiree’s Baby, from the minute Armand begins to look all starry eyed mind h Desiree to the incredible enthusiastic agony he perpetrates on her towards the end.
Theme of Choice in Short Story Desiree’s Baby
Love changes people for better or worse. Armand, a slave owner in Louisiana, falls in love with Desiree, a girl with an unknown origin. They later get married and have a baby boy. Love changed Armand. Desiree saw his love change, that made Desiree happy. Love also changed Armand’s behavior towards his slaves. The story explains Armand sudden change after realizing their baby is not white, yet Desiree is blamed for the child not having same skin color of her parents because of her uncertain background. Armand’s pride took over him and suddenly told Desiree he wanted to leave her as he disowned and caused pain in her. Desiree further stated that she couldn’t live without him, because she loved him dearly. In fact, In” Desiree’s Baby”, Kate Chopin uses the protagonist interaction with her husband and members of society to express the idea that racism and pride negatively impact all people, and can ultimately lead to death. South of Louisiana was so cruel towards blacks.
A lot of slave owners mistreated slaves, and Armand was one of them slave owners. He came from a family that was well known. He felt that he had to protect his family name and their history, he didn’t want to destroy his name as a slave owner and for society to judge him for having a black baby. His actions are read by society and not byself-worth. If society doesn’t accept blacks, then he can’t accept them neither. Armand didn’t want people to see him different and not take him seriously, so he left Desiree. Armand pride was let down because of the disappointment his wife brought upon his family. This explains that he wasn’t true to his love for Desiree. Armand was only motivated by his pride and prejudiced and his uncertain love. The baby boy would’ve kept the family name and it shows that Armand only cared about the importance of holding the family name. In the 19th century, all whites were accepted, and all blacks was an outcast, and were to live a harsh slavery life. Armand parents were white & Desiree skin color was white, so therefore the baby skin color growing into black was automatically not accepted in society.
Armand burns everything that contains Desiree and the baby, anything that connects him to blacks. This shows he can’t disobey his white society. Desiree feels shame and hate in herself and not knowing her origins, she feels as if she is the problem her baby is mixed with black. Desiree writes a letter to her adoptive mom, explaining that she is unhappy from the mistreatment from her husband. This shows she can’t accept being black and having a black child in a society that doesn’t accept them. Her husband Armand rejecting her, and her dark skin baby and her feelings of dearth lead her to drown in the swamp with her baby. Racism played a key role in the 19th century. Only whites could marry whites and only slaves could marry slaves. This resulted in black people not being accepted because of their mixed heritage. It affects people who are victims and who cannot accept it like Desiree and Armand. Which is the reason why Armand disowned his wife, by placing one race in a higher social class than the other. In the story, it shows how skin color defines identity and social class. Desiree death wasn’t the only option for her and her baby. She had other options to go live with her adoptive mom if she felt unwelcome, instead of choosing death over life. Desiree didn’t think about this option because she was so happy with her husband and couldn’t imagine life without.
Gender Roles in Kate Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby
In fact, women’s rights in the late 19th century were slowly taken seriously in the United States. Women’s rights have inspired many writers to create themes. One of the most famous female writers, Kate Chopin, has a few racist works in addition to women’s topics in her novels. Desiree’s Child is one of the remarkable short stories.
Desiree’s fate is to describe vividly and subtly. The book tells the story of the southern part of the United States during the slavery period. The heroine Desiree is an abandoned baby when she met Armand, they fell in love. But the children they gave birth to were not white, so the love of the two instantly collapsed. In the face of Armand’s incomprehension and insult, the sad Desiree held the children to throw the water. But ironically, at the end of the novel, Armand knows that the real reason for the impureness of the child’s bloodlines is that he has a non-white mother who he does not do. This tragedy shows that despite their love, in the society at that time, the double discrimination against race and gender made everything disappear, and eventually Desiree became the victim of this family battle.
This novel of a few thousand words not only reflects the fate and struggle of women under the patriarchal rule but also reveals the cruelty and social and cultural implications of racial discrimination in American society. The charm of Kate Chopin’s work is that each reader can interpret different meanings from it, so some people call it “not fully comprehend the story.” However, in this story, Kate Chopin reveals two critical issues that still afflict Americans today: Racial Discrimination and Identity.
Racial Discrimination is an ordinary existence; identity is a problem of women’s cognition of women’s status. Both issues have been profoundly revealed in the novel. Desiree is a dull and weak woman, but she still needs to rely on men. The patriarchal society twice abandoned her and eventually killed the murderer of his life, the invisible and ubiquitous killer of racial and gender double discrimination. When reading this book, he could not help thinking: Why is a woman Struggling with the identity and status she should have. Desiree was an abandoned baby, who was seen and adopted by the kind Madam Valmonde. “This little one awoke up in his arms and began to cry for “Dada.” That was as much as she could do or say”(Chopin 1). This is the first time the patriarchal society defamed her. This “dad” may be a signal that is not willing to be abandoned again. At the beginning of the story, the identity of Desiree was vague, which led to the occurrence of a series of tragedies. Madam Valmonde has no fertility, and she believes this is the best gift God has given her. She loves Desiree, like her flesh and blood. After becoming mature, Desiree became “For the girl grew to be beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere, – the idol of Valmonde” (Chopin 1). Armand lived in a fragmented family. His father was abandoned in Paris since childhood and was raised by his mother. When he was eight years old, his mother died, and his father took it back to his home in the United States. In the end, it was learned that Armand’s mother had a non-white lineage, a race that was a curse because of the brand of slaves.
In 1705, custom-made “black law” was a black slave for life, a slave for generations. The existence of slavery is doomed to create a mixture of blood, because the relationship between whites and minorities in the South is the relationship between the master and the slave, and the slave owner has easy access to the female slave who is in the servant status. In the eyes of white racists,” A drop of black blood “is enough to taint the entire family lineage. Therefore, Armand was born and rejected by the family and social condemnation. Racial mix is not encouraged, and mixed-race descendants are not accepted among whites, and mixed-race descendants are classified as blacks in race and society. Armand’s mother was pregnant with the owner’s child, but to maintain the family’s honor, the director took her to Paris thousands of miles away, letting her raise their children alone. Because of the French at that time, the situation and status of black people had apparent advantages. They declared their lives free and equal before the law. The trauma of childhood brought poison to the growth and character formation of Armand. His experience from his hometown and his father’s absence made him mentally abused and sowed the seeds of racism so that in his later life he gradually showed the characteristics shared by the mixed-race American society during the slavery period. Character stubborn, full of hatred, and very sensitive to pedigree problems. Desiree and Armand fall in love at first sight. Armand wanted to get marry Desiree, but his adoptive father, Monsieur Valmonde, asked him to be cautious because she has no name and she does not know what to know. There are many uncertainties when she is unclear. Armand said, “What is a name? He can give him the oldest and most proud name in Louisiana”(Chopin 2). According to Armand’s discourse logic, Desiree does not need his surname.
Anonymous is a female-only character. All women, including Desi, lose their name once they marry. Lose their name not only means that she is a woman, but also that she is black because, in the pre-civil society, white slave owners deprived the names of black slaves. Armand did not realize that this was a warning. This negligence buried the ominous seeds for the fate of both. After the marriage, Desiree gave birth to a son, who should enjoy a happy and happy life; but the fate has teased her, his child is not white, and Armand cannot help but blame her for the “impurity.” At this time, she was once again abandoned. She completely lost her position in this world; she is not needed. Originally, the child was not pure white, and there were two possibilities: the father was a mixed-race or the mother. However, in a patriarchal society, women are always weak and unprotected. In the story, Desiree fate has always been chosen by others. When Armand saw Desiree, he fell in love with her. “The passion that awoke in him that day, when he saw her at the gate, swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles”(Chopin 1). But, does Desire love Armand? How does he feel about her? The author of Kate Chopin has never let her speak, and there is no such thing as a right to speak. In a patriarchal society, women are subordinate to men at all stages of their lives. Initially his father, and later her husband. His life has been around men, the man who said in his words, only death is himself. For the first time in the story, I spoke and said his son. When Madam Valmonde discovered that Desiree’s child’s skin colour was abnormal, Desiree reaction was “I knew you would be astonished”(Chopin 2). “at the way he has grown. The little cochon de lait! Look at his legs, mamma, and his hands and finger-mails, – real finger-mails. Zandrine had to cut them this morning. Is n’t it true Zandrine” (Chopin 2). The word “surprise” indicates that Desire’s simplicity, ignorance and world involvement are not deep. She never thought about what the child’s skin colour meant and did not expect her to be devastated. Desiree is a blank piece of paper; she does not know what a child of a different skin color means to a family.
Gender differences are doomed to differences in discourse power. The last time conversation between Desiree and Armand It happened after Desiree wrote to her foster mother. She took the letter and asked Armand, hoping that he would let her stay, so there would be the following Dialogue: “Do I go back, Armand?” / “Yes, go.” / “Do you want me to go back?” / “Yes, I want you to go back”(Chopin 4). These words make Desiree to Facing death. So, who killed Desiree? We know that no one in the novel has direct responsibility for the death of Desiree. The murderer did not appear. But it is everywhere. It is an invisible, massively lethal gender and ethnic power relationship, prejudice and discrimination that pervade an abnormal society. From the gentle and steady narrative of Desiree’s Baby, we have seen that in a patriarchal society, women suffer from unequal treatment: a beautiful, pure, innocent woman. It has become a victim of male rights and racial discrimination that people are used to.
Race As a Providing Theme in Desiree’s Baby
The Root of Evil
Race has a tight grasp on our daily lives whether we realize it or not. The control it has over our world and society stays quite elusive. It slowly creeps into our thoughts and actions without warning. The construction of race has changed and evolved over time, but the central root which takes its place within our very hearts has remained stable. In the three works Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin, Theme for English B by Langston Hughes, and The Lynching by Claude Mckay, race is looked at from different points of view but with the same ending result of inferiority and biasness. This is ultimately a deeper look into racism and how it was molded and transformed along the way into what it is now.
In the short story by Kate Chopin, race is looked at as despicable and almost revolting when mixed in a marriage. To find out that his wife was not white was enough for Armand to “avoid her presence and that of her child, without excuse” (Baym, 423). This created a segregated household and a split in a family. The influence that race has over society is like that of a disease, creating wide spread disproval of those who are infected while forcing them into seclusion. Telling his wife he wants her to leave is all that is left for Armand who feels “God had dealt cruelly and unjustly with him…” for giving him this wife that ruined his name and smeared the filthy disease upon his home and future, but really it was within him the whole time, “Moreover he no longer loved her…” (Baym, 424). Later on, it is revealed that the reason behind the hatred of this race is due to the cultural beliefs and pride that place everyone above this “race that is cursed with the brand of slavery,” (Baym, 425). Slavery is the label placed upon this race that puts them in a life of no freedom or choices. To be ranked a slave is to be thrown into the deepest pit and never found again. This creates much anger and wrath upon this unforgivable race, which is where the idea of racism first takes root within us.
Just as race causes tension within the home, it has also caused issues within a learning environment. In the work by Langston Hughes, the fight against racism has already begun and is only the beginning of the journey that will be made. The main point being created in this work is that color is the only obstacle separating people from mutual agreement and harmony. “I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love,” are just a few of the statements that depict the idea of goals and values that reflect each other in every race (Baym, 1044). Racism fails to have a valid excuse for existing. Other than him being “the only colored student in my class,” nothing separates him from his peers or from society. A pivotal moment occurs after it is mentioned that “being colored doesn’t make me not like the same things…” (Baym, 1044). Other races and people who are not white all want the same things out of life one way or another. Race is being looked at as a beautiful difference in culture and now longer as something that can cause separation and ill treatment of others. When the student says, “As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me,” (Baym, 1044). This opens the door for the cure to this vile disease created by mankind. Just getting along and allowing each of our races to influence each other positively and create a new ground for understanding and knowledge.
Lastly, in the short work by Claude Mckay, race is given its most gruesome portrayal where the death of a race is looked upon as a fun sport or an extermination to cleanse society. “The ghastly body swaying in the sun,” shines a whole new light on the situation of racism (Baym, 927). Racism takes leaps and strides forward in a positive direction, but also takes bounding steps backwards as well. There can never be true equality at all times, but there are moments of peace that bring joy for a brief moment. Along with that comes those who stick their noses up in disgust at the people who are different from them. The women who would watch or walk by this horrid sight “never a one showed sorrow in her eyes,” (Baym, 927). This represents how in this journey that shapes race, there will be those who look on with apathy and no interest of the events taking place simply because it is not something they feel the need to get involved in or have an opinion about. Not only are there those who don’t get involved, but those who are destined to, “little lads, lynchers that were to be,” that danced around the hanging body really depict the future of race at this time period. This really symbolizes that no matter how many positive moves are made toward a better society, there will always be those who take pleasure in separating themselves from those they think less of whether that be race, class, or any other social rank (Baym, 927). The root that grows within can be evil as well as harmonious, but only time can tell what it will turn out to be.
These two works portray a very specific biasness against racial differences. It perfectly reflects the journey that this problem has taken and how today there have been many advances in equality and acceptance in our country. Though the root still remains deeply imbedded within us, it is one that can grow into something positive if we let it. One day allowing it to instill courage and bravery in our hearts that fight against the troubling differences we find in each other that cause us to fall inferior to our own standards.
Inequality in Desiree’s Baby Novel
There is a quote that states, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” This is a quote written by Nelson Mandela who was the first black President in South Africa, it relates to the story Desiree’s baby by Kate Chopin. Discrimination is one of the key issue that the society faced in the early centuries and are still facing in today’s world. The main character, Désirée is the adopted daughter of Monsieur and Madame Valmondé, who are rich French Creoles in antebellum Louisiana. She was found as a baby by Monsieur Valmondé resting in the tail of a stone pillar near the Valmondé entry. Désirée dates Armand, also a son of rich, famous and valued French Creole family. They got married and had a baby boy together, who his skin’s color was dark. Armand starts treating Désirée in an unusual way, which causes her to feel sad, and decides to write a letter to her mom. Then, Madame Valmondé suggested that Desiree leaves her husband and returns home. Désirée shows Armand the letter and he agrees for her to leave him. She left her husband taking their baby with her, back to her mom’s house. Later, Armand finds a letter from his mom which tells that her race is banned with the variety of slavery.
Désirée’s baby is a tremendous victim of discrimination because of his skin’s color. When Désirée’s mom arrives to L’Abri, the city where Désirée and Armand live, she noticed that the baby’s color had changed, but she did not make any comments regarding his color since she did not know anything about her daughter’s background neither, the fact is that her husband found her, they adopted and raised Désirée like their own child. The author mentions, “This is not the baby! she exclaimed, in startled tones…Madame Valmondé had never removed her eyes from the child. She lifted and walked it over the window that was lightest…” On the other hand, her husband Armand reveals discrimination toward his own creation and his wife “it means, he answered lightly, that the child is not white, it means that you are not white.” She replied “it is a lie, it is not true, I am white! …” Désirée’s does not agree with the Armand’s words, and tries to convince him, but he does not change his opinion.
Désirée decides to leave her husband, taking her baby with her since Armand changed his attitude and ignored her opinion. Chopin says “Moreover, he no longer loved her, because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name. this quote is a clear demonstration of the cruelty and humiliation towards his wife, and it shows how important it is for him to preserve his name and his family. The author also says “Désirée went in search of her child. Zandrine was pacing the somber gallery with it. She took the little one from the nurses with no words or explanation, and descending steps, walked away, under the live oak branches”. This quote symbolize that Désirée left her town with a heartbroken, she loved her husband even though he mistreated and agrees for her to leave their home with their beloved son.
Armand find a letter from his mom which proves that his mom’s family is mixed with black race. The author mention that Armand reads the letter “night and day, she was tanking God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know his mother, who adores him, belong to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.” This quote reveals that Armand belongs to the race that he has been considering mediocre. He turned away his son and Désirée, in the truth he is the one who should have been turned away. Armand’s viewpoints unambiguous differentiate his father, who loved his mother irrespective of her race. Yet, it was his parent’s choice to hide Armand’s historical to him, in order to defend him of embarrassment that caused him to accept racist theories and damage Désirée’s and his son’s life. They tryied to guard Armand from obscenity, but he found out by himself anyways. The question which remained unanswered is the mystery of Désirée’s family history. What is her real race?
Discrimination is one of the most fatal and tragic reality that affects millions of people in the entire nation. The skin color of Désirée’s baby is an excellent example of racism, then she decides to leave Armand because he did not accept their son’s skin color, and far ahead, he finds out by a letter which tells him that his mother is related to the race he discriminates, his own race! One time when I was in Cape Verde, my Country of naturalization, I heard my great grandmother telling stories about Portuguese, which we were part of their colonies, they used to treat us like their slaves, and now we are an independent country, but there are some people in their country that are still treating us with discrimination.
The Importance of the Distinction of Social Class and Racial Stability in the South in Desiree’s Baby, a Short Story by Kate Chopin
It is stories like this one that should have turned the southern racial and social structure on it’s head. It should have forced the people who subscribed to these racist principles to ask themselves, how fundamental are the differences between black and white people if they never had reason to believe that Monsieur Aubigny was multiracial? If his family could be successful and participate in high society, then it would stand to reason that there is no biological differences between these white socialites and their slaves. In my opinion, “Desiree’s Baby” troubles notions of southern social class and racial stability by illustrating the importance of these distinctions at the time, while simultaneously proving how insubstantial and trivial they are.
Monsieur Aubigny and Madame Valmonde are horrified by the thought that Desiree might not be white. Instead of realizing that race does not change a person or make them less worthy, Monsieur Aubigny denounces all feelings for Desiree and wants nothing to do with the baby. When Madame Valmonde sees the baby she is obviously shocked saying, “That is not the baby!”(Chopin,1073). Desiree, who is completely oblivious to why her mother is so appalled, assumes she is referring to the baby’s growth. The author intentionally makes it clear that Desiree does not initially recognise what makes the baby different, and is only wary when she sees that everyone is treating her and the baby differently. This is intentional to show how truly superficial this racial division is. Desiree can not live with herself when she finds out that she and the baby may not be white, yet she had never noticed it until Monsieur Aubigny pointed it out.
In the story, Desiree was described as “beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere,–the idol of Valmonde.”(Chopin,1072). Her mother remembers in this paragraph how Desiree came to her, and how she grew up to be a perfectly respectable young woman, despite her unknown origin. She goes on to recall Monsieur Aubigny’s immediate love for Desiree and how he too was able to ignore her lack of family name. It is clear that they are able to ignore Desiree’s unconventional presence in their high society lives, and even insist that this makes no difference in her temperament or beauty. There is a distinction made here about the great difference between low-born white people and people of color. Madame Valmonde says she loves her daughter all while indifferently noting that Monsieur Aubigny is harsh and strict with “his negroes”(Chopin,1073). There is no tie between the two for the people of this time period. Monsieur Aubigny’s love for Desiree originally suggests a more educated and liberal worldview, yet he is cruel to Desiree when he finds out that their baby is multiracial. These racial constructs and etiquettes they live by are illogical and are driven by notions that have no place in reality.
Like most of the stories we have read so far, “Desiree’s Baby” is written in a way that would have been acceptable at the time, but is now considered insensitive and racist. Although the short story speaks to the ludicrousy of the rigid Southern social and racial structure, it accurately portrays the racist reasoning of the people it’s depicting. You have to analyze the story carefully to see the critique of the social class and their perception of race. In conclusion, “Desiree’s Baby” complicates the social class and race relationships of the south by depicting a situation that accurately conveys the ambiguity of these constructs.
The Racial Profiling Desiree’s Baby
Have you ever noticed that race plays a major part in some peoples lives? In the story, Desiree’s Baby, you will see how race affects a relationship between the mother and father of a mixed baby. The protagonist is a white woman named Desiree who was found abandoned as an infant on a doorstep. Because Desiree’s baby appeared a different race, it broken up Desiree and Armand’s marriage.
Kate Chopin’s story, “Desiree’s Baby” is a story that is mainly about race. When Desiree gives birth to her child, the intended audience begins to become aware that there is a mystery about the child’s race. There are other characters noticeable LaBlanche’s which also serve to raise concerns about the baby’s racial identity. The author builds a mystery to provoke the characters and the reader’s concerns about race.
This story is about a woman that was abandoned when she was just a baby and was found by Madame Valmonde and took her in as her own. Armand was a boy that had just moved to the U.S. from Paris, he has met Desiree before but did not notice her again until she was older. She was as beautiful as she can be, and he instantly fell in love with her. Armand and Desiree were married, and they had a child which was a boy. When the baby was about three months old, Desiree starts to notice that her baby boy’s skin is different. Which means that he could possibly be a different race.
Madame Valmonde had not seen Desiree and the baby for four weeks and decides to go visit them. “This is not the baby!” she exclaimed, in startled tones” (Chopin 2). Madame Valmonde reacted like this because she noticed the baby changed since the lase time she saw him. Armand notices it as well and tries to make Desiree believe that she is the reason for her son being a different race.
He immediately avoids Desiree and the baby and even ask her to leave with the baby because the baby was not completely Caucasian. “Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L’Abri. In the centre of the smoothly swept back yard was a great bonfire” (Chopin 4). Armand did this, so he could burn everything that reminded him of Desiree and the baby. While in the middle of burning the things that reminded him of them he found a letter from his mother to his father. The letter stated, “But, above all,” she wrote, “night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery” (Chopin 4). All along Armand was part black and did not know it. The author uses detailed words in “Desiree’s Baby” to describe the theme, message, and intentions to captivate the reader’s feelings about the story. Race played a significant role in this story. The baby’s racial profile changed how Armand felt about Desiree.