The importance of a pure race was prominent in pre-civil war Louisiana. This is demonstrated in the short story "Desiree's Baby" written by Kate Chopin. When looking at the two characters in this story we see that their reaction towards racial importance varies between Armand and Desiree. With Armand the importance is placed on status, pure bloodlines and respect. This is opposed to Desiree who places her emphases on genuine love above all other social labels. The way that these two people deal with their backgrounds, race and love will change their lives forever.
Armand had lived at L'Abri "since his father brought him home from Paris, a boy of eight". (4) Armand was raised by the slave women on the plantation. "It was a sad looking place, which for many years had not known the gentle presence of a mistress". (6) In a letter his mother wrote she thanked God "for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery".
(49) The lack of maternal influence affects him in several ways. He lacks the sense of family. Armand is resentful and was not shown the warmth of a mother's love.
Desiree although being orphaned as a child, grew to be beautiful and affectionate. Madame Valmonde who found her at a young age doted over her. She was convinced that Desiree "was sent to her by a beneficent Providence to be the child of her affection, seeing that she was without child of the flesh". (3) Desiree knows the feeling of genuine love. Desiree sees marriage as a way to extend her love. She is subservient and devoted. She loves him desperately. "When he smiled, she...