Preview
Preview

Desiree’s Baby: Prejudiced Criticism of the One-Drop Rule Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1229 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Desiree’s Baby” provides insight into the application of the hypodescent rule in plantation-era Louisiana, depicting individuals of mixed race who are marked and assigned to the subordinate social group. In her short story, “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin addresses the practice as it was applied to the “one-drop rule,” the notion that an individual with white complexion may be deemed black by society given the presence of any African ancestry. Desiree, the story’s protagonist, is eloquently placed at the intersection of the two races, victimized in order to highlight the flaws and inadequacies of the rule. Desiree’s ultimate removal from white society and possible death may indicate a text working to criticize racial prejudice; however, underhanded comments and character portrays on behalf of Chopin indicate that this is not the case. Chopin’s text contains racial descriptions of the characters allows for a critique of the method of racial assignment within the divided system it is meant to uphold, adding weight to its inadequacies. “Desiree’s Baby” carefully outlines a situation in which the prepositions of the one-drop rule are manipulated and followed logically to an absurd consequence, rendering the system of categorization ineffective.
Constructing an environment in which the one-drop rule should theoretically thrive, Chopin places Desiree in a southern plantation where she can be made black easily, but more significantly, where blackness carries significant consequences. Despite Desiree’s ability to effortlessly assimilate into southern society, taking on the role of the “beautiful, gentle, affectionate and sincere” southern belle, the story never loses sight of her “obscure origin” (Chopin 440). As a result, Desiree is not...


... middle of paper ...


...gressive, the system’s failure stems from its inability to preserve the racial divide of the time. At the story’s end, the cruel black slave owner remains in power while the white southern belle is exiled, her status having been revoked. With this in mind, the one-drop rule is not only criticized through Desiree’s tragic end as its premise is disproven using reductio ad absurdum. Chopin tests the one-drop rule in the racist setting in which it should theoretically thrive, but manipulating two of the subjects with the concept of an “unknown origin,” the system of racial categorization ceases to function effectively. As the hierarchy meant to be preserved falls apart, the one-drop rule exhibits apparent and irreparable flaws. Questioning the stability of the one-drop rule, the text displays a clear desire for a more dependable system of racial categorization.







Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Analysis of Desiree Baby by Kate Chopin Essay - “Desiree Baby” by Kate Chopin is a very thought provoking short story that deals with racism, prejudice, and love. The story takes place in southern Louisiana, where Armand, a prominent landowner, marries a girl of unknown origin named Desiree. The story has a twist when their baby is born and is discovered to be of mixed race. Armand knew all along that he was OF mixed race, and I will prove it by analyzing characterization, diction, and imagery. The characterization of Armand showed that he knew all along about his ethnicity....   [tags: racism, prejudice, desiree baby] 546 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin - “Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could” are words deeply moving and thoughtful to love and life. In Kate Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby, it seemed Armand Aubigny’s love for his baby and wife had done exactly that, transformed him into a happier plantation owner. His wife, Desiree Aubigny, thrived in the love he was pouring out because “she loved him desperately.” Their love was immediate as was his parent’s love when they lived in Paris....   [tags: fear, desire, love]
:: 5 Works Cited
953 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Decreasing Drop Out Rates Essay - Decreasing the Drop-Outs (draft) Students dropping out from school are among one of the larger problems faced in the country. It is a serious problem that is often ignored by the schools and districts, and can offer even simple solutions to keep kids in the classroom. From the personal view of a normal student, school is stressful—but it’s supposed to be a challenge. It’s practically divided into few categories: kids who strive to learn and be successful and kids who don’t wish to have anything to do with school....   [tags: Students, High School, Drop Outs, Education]
:: 1 Works Cited
1115 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism in Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin Essay - Symbolism in Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin "Desiree's Baby" is Kate Chopin's most well-known short story and most anthologized piece of work. The story takes place in southern Louisiana and her writing reflects her Creole-French descent. Chopin begins the story with a descriptive quote, "when she reached L'Abri she shuddered at the first sight of it, as she always did. It was a sad looking place...Big solemn oaks grew close to it and their thick leaved, far-reaching branches shadowed it like a pall" (185)....   [tags: Desiree's Baby Kate Chopin Essays Papers]
:: 1 Works Cited
941 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin - "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin "Desiree's Baby", by Kate Chopin, is a story about the effect love and pride have on our actions. Love changes people for the better. "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." Pride, however, can have the opposite effect....   [tags: Kate Chopin Desiree's Baby]
:: 2 Works Cited
864 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby Essay - Desiree's Baby is a short story written by Kate Chopin. It is set in 19th century Louisiana. The story starts with Madame Valmonde going to visit Desiree and her baby. She thinks back on her memories of Desiree as a baby: "It made her laugh to think of Desiree with a baby. Why it seemed but yesterday that Desiree was little more than a baby herself." This quote tells us two things. The first is that Madame Valmonde must have known Desiree as a child and is either a close family friend of even a member of the family herself....   [tags: Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin] 1756 words
(5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby Essay - Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby This essay will focus on the short story by Kate Chopin and its use of symbols, setting and characters. Desiree’s baby was perhaps one of the best stories I’ve ever read. Analyzing it was not easy at all. Its use of symbols was very hard to comprehend. At first, it doesn’t make sense. But as you think critically, all the symbols, and setting and the characters in this literature plunge together in one amazing story....   [tags: Kate Chopin Desiree's Baby] 1392 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The One-Drop Rule Essay - The growth in the multiracial population in the United States of America since the 1970’s has greatly increased and is continuing to increase. Although the number of biracial and multiracial Americans is relatively small to the total population at 5 million, the multiracial population is growing at a rate of ten times faster than that of the White population (Stuckey 2008). These facts weren’t officially known until the United States government’s verdict to allow individuals to claim multiple races on the 2000 US census....   [tags: Racial Issues]
:: 9 Works Cited
2259 words
(6.5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Desiree's Baby - A Short Story by Kate Chopin Essay example - "Desiree's Baby', is about a young lady who was nameless and abandoned as a child. Desiree was a child who's future was uncertain until she was found by the Valmonde family. During this time of the Valmondes' life, they had not been blessed with any children, therefore they took in Desiree and raised her as their own child. From the very beginning of the story, I knew that this would be something that I would enjoy. The Valmonde's taking in this child as their own, is two blessing in one. Desiree gets the love and support that she needs from parents; and the Valmonde's get a child that they are now able to give love and support to....   [tags: Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby] 394 words
(1.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby - The Formalistic Approach - The Formalistic Approach to Desiree's Baby     Kate Chopin's narrative of "Desiree's Daughter" created a sense of ambiguity among the reader until the last few sentences of the story.  However, the Formalistic Approach to Literature helps one to review the texts and notice countless relationships between the detailed components and conclusion of the story.  These elements draw clues and foreshadow the events that happen throughout the duration and climax of the narrative.  Close reading will help one to depict the devices used to help carry the audience through the plot and suggest the resolution.  Some of the most prominent devices used by Chopin are word choice, referenc...   [tags: Desiree's Baby Essays] 1132 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]