"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. Pride is spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards. Pride doesn't leave much room for mercy and kindness and it makes people think of "self" first and of others only if it benefits; it is unreasonable. This essay will discuss the role love plays in Armand and Desiree's lives and the destructive power of pride and the effect of the choices our characters make.
Desiree is a "beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere young woman."(p. 31) Armand, a young plantation owner, falls in love with her "as if struck by a pistol shot."(p.31) Armand's love for her is described as a "prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles."(p.31) Armand and Desiree marry and have a baby early in
the marriage. Love changed Armand: it "softened Armand Aubigny's imperious and exacting nature greatly."(p.32) Desiree saw this change in him and it made her happy, for she "loved him desperately."(p.32) Love changes Armand's behavior towards his slaves; "he hasn't punished one of them -- not one of them -- since baby is born."(p.32)
In life it is inevitable that we will experience change; and encounter surprises. I...
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...n by pain, took the "deserted field" to the bayou never to return again. (p.33)
"Desiree's Baby" is a sad story where pride wins and love loses. It teaches us an important lesson about humanity's struggle. "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." We have a battle to fight. Are we going to love or let our pride lead us?
Bible. NLT version. "1Corinthians 13:4-7." Psalm One Zire 31 (software)
Chopin, Kate. "Desiree's Baby" Literature for Composition. Ed.
Sylvan Barnet et al. 7th Ed. New York: Longman, 2005, 30-34.
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