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Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin Essay

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Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin

Desiree's Baby is a short story written by Kate Chopin. It is set in
19th century Louisiana. The story starts with Madame Valmondé going to
visit Desirée and her baby. She thinks back on her memories of Désirée
as a baby:
"It made her laugh to think of Désirée with a baby.
Why it seemed but yesterday that Desirée was little
more than a baby herself."
This quote tells us two things. The first is that Madame Valmondé must
have known Désirée as a child and is either a close family friend of
even a member of the family herself. The second thing is that Désirée
is young. The word "baby" could either mean childlike or physically
young. Désirée seemed to be a normal child and had had a normal
childhood. The third paragraph tells us more about Desirée's
background:
"She had been purposely left by a band of passing
Texans."
This makes us think that she he had been abandoned at a very young age
outside Madame Valmondé´s home. We can also tell from paragraph five
that
"She was nameless."
No one knew what her name was or what her family background was like.
It was all a rumour.
Eighteen years after this, Armand Aubigny fell in love with Désirée.
From the fifth paragraph of the first page we can tell that Armand was
very proud of his family name.
"What did it matter about a name when he could give
her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana?"
This is a very old fashioned point of view. To Armand, his name was
everything. There is a very strong social contrast between the
nameless Désirée and Armand.
Signs of racism become apparent in the book on page 67:
"Young...


... middle of paper ...


...rt or betrayed by the it,
and the baby, through no fault of its own, hurt him and humiliated
him. He also put his faith into Désirée, this may sound like it is
unemotional but its not, by marrying lower down the relative hierarchy
and then, in his mind, she brought "unclean" blood into the family. I
think the real fault lies with Armand's parents for not telling him
about his racial background. They probably only did this so he could
live a good life without discrimination, but in the long run it did
him more harm than good. If he had known about it before this whole
incident would not have happened. His ethics would be completely
different but he wouldn't be living in such splendour. I think he
would be happier if he would have known from a younger age what his
background was. After all life is quality not quantity.


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