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Gender Roles in Chopin's Desiree's Baby and A Point at Issue Essay

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Gender Roles in Chopin's 'Desiree's Baby' and 'A Point at Issue'


Many female writers write about women's struggle for equality and how they are looked upon as inferior. Kate Chopin exhibits her views about women in her stories. The relationship between men and women in Kate Chopin's stories imply the attitudes that men and women portray. In many of Chopin's works, the idea that women's actions are driven by the men in the story reveals that men are oppressive and dominant and women are vulnerable, gullable and sensitive. Chopin also shows that females, like Desiree and Eleanor, undergo a transformation from dependent and weak to stronger women free from their husbands by the end of the story. In the short story 'Desiree's Baby,' Kate Chopin reveals her idea of the relationship between men and women by showing instances of inferiority and superiority throughout the story. In 'A Point at Issue,' there are many instances where the idea of hypocrisy and the attitudes that the main characters display and how their actions affect each other's lives, show the impact that men have on women's lives.

In 'Desiree?s Baby,' Chopin illustrates her idea of the relationship between men and women by portraying Desiree as vulnerable and easily affected, whereas Armand is presented as superior and oppressive. Throughout ?Desiree?s Baby,? Kate Chopin investigates the concept of Armand's immense power over Desiree. At first, Desiree tries to conform to the traditional female role by striving to be an obedient wife. Later in the story, this conformity changes after Desiree gives birth to her part-black son.

Armand becomes furious because he believes that Desiree?s race is what alters the color of the baby. After that incident, Armand displ...


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...ree for his problems and treats her with disrespect. The issues and problems in Kate Chopin?s stories also connect with issues in today?s society. There still exist many men in this world who hold low opinions of women, are hypocritical in their thoughts, dealings, and actions with women, and treat honorable, respectable women poorly, just as Charles and Armand did in Chopin?s stories. Women in ?Desiree?s Baby? and ?A Point at Issue? strive for personal freedom and equality which equates to modern times in that some women are still paid less for doing the same job as men and in some countries, women still cannot vote. The relationship between men and women in Chopin?s stories still, in some effect, directly apply to today?s world.

Works Cited:

Chopin, Kate. "Desiree's Baby." The Awakening and Other Stories. Ed. Judith Baxter. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996.



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