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Analysis of Desiree's Baby

Autor:   •  June 11, 2012  •  Case Study  •  591 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,221 Views

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In the short story "Desiree's Baby, Chopin explores the problem of a man's pride conquering the love he has for his wife and race. This story examines why Armand's pride was much bigger than the love he had for Desiree and also shows how race altered the course of events.

Armand is portrayed as a typical wealthy man who has it all. He assumed that because his family name was "…one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana" (p. 98), he could marry Desiree, who had no identity. Though he had "fell in love, as if struck by a pistol shot" (p. 98), his pride came before his emotions. This eminent slave owner was willing to do anything in order to protect his family name and its history. Though he had previously felt that his name could provide Desiree with anything, this name wasn't enough to cover the fact that his wife had black ancestry. His pride gave him no choice but the coldly answer his wife "you are not white" (p. 100) and also to tell her "Yes, go… Yes, I want you to go" (p. 101), when his wife receives a reply from her mother. Armand didn't want society to frown upon him or make a mockery of him and his name so he felt he had to stop loving Desiree and his child. Desiree and her child, now simply was a Negro woman with a mistake he had accidentally made in the blindness of love.

Chopin through the character and actions of Armand emphasize how during the era of slavery, the one-drop rule to classify blacks from whites was inherently significant. The one drop of ‘black blood' that Desiree supposedly had caused her, her love, home, marriage, and a paternal presence in the life of his son. She is now forced to go through the hardships that society dealt blacks as she "walked across a deserted field, where the stubble bruised her tender feet…and tore her tin gown to shreds" (p. 101). She no longer has the luxury that her fair skin had bought her


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