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Essay on A Look At the Past

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Wow, how the times have changed. Just imagine this scenario. A group of friends go out to eat at a restaurant. They walk in the establishment and a man stops them. “You all are black. You can’t be in here!”, the man says. The group of friends must leave because of the color of their skin. No one really thinks about events like this anymore because everyone today is allowed to socialize together. Authors Kate Chopin and Alice Walker were probably very familiar with this type of situation. Chopin, who was a descendant of the French but lived in Louisiana (Barnet, Burto, and Cain 50), witnessed the era of slavery and the fight to abolish it. Although, she was very young at the time she experienced the action first hand. Alice Walker, on the other hand, saw a different part of the struggle. She saw the fight for equality and also the Women’s Rights Movement. The struggles of African Americans during each of these time frames are reflected greatly in each of their writings. “Desiree’s Baby” and “Everyday Use” both give a vivid portrayal of society’s views on African Americans by showing great detail in the setting description, the attitudes of the characters, and the conflicts that the characters face.
“It was a sad looking place”, began Chopin in “Desiree‘s Baby“, to briefly describe the home of Desiree and Armand Aubigny. This description automatically sets a bleak tone for the story. The story does have pleasant times such as in the beginning. Desiree was an abandoned child whom Monsieur Valmonde found by a pillar one day. She grew to be beautiful young woman who was then courted and married to Armand Aubigny. Even though Desiree’s origin was uncertain Armand did not care. The story goes on to state that Armand owned slaves and ...


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...ism) Race has been and, sadly, will always be an issue that the world faces. “Desiree’s Baby” and “Everyday Use” are great examples of the struggles that African Americans have faced over many generations and how times have changed in the life of an African American.






Works Cited

Walker, Alice. "Everyday Use". An Introduction to Literature, 15th ed. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, William Burton, and William E. Cain. New York: Longman, 2008, 109- 115.

Chopin, Kate. “Desiree’s Baby.” An Introduction to Literature, 15th ed. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, William Burton, and William E. Cain. New York: Longman, 2008, 104- 108.


Barnet, Sylvan, William Burto, and William E. Cain. An Introduction to Literature. 15th

ed. New York: Longman, 2008. 50.


"Racism quotes". ThinkExist. com Quotations. June 10, 2010.





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