Short essay on "Desiree's Baby"

Essay by theurgeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2006

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"Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin depicts a marriage torn apart by the Social structure of the times. The author portrays the adverse effects of the role of race and slavery and the effects on the people of the pre-civil war south. A love between two young adults gets subjected to the trials of race and ends up a burning failure. The idea of racial obscurities is proven throughout the story.

The day Desiree and Armand fell in love everything was perfect. Armand was proud to have Desiree and was willing to give her "one of the oldest and proudest names in Louisiana" (83), even though he is warned by Monsieur Valmond that she has an "obscure origin". Origin was an issue in this time and Chopin wanted to emphasize this. Origin was in part what race she was. This would later destroy the relationship along with his father's secret.

Years earlier Armand's father, Monsieur Aubingny had fled to Paris with his colored wife before Armand was born. When Armand was young his mother died. A Man of great power left his plantation out of fear of persecution for marrying a negro all because the society of the times. As Desiree's and Armand's baby grew older the child began to change, arousing the curiosity of the slaves. Chopin again adds race to her story. The baby had begun to resemble a negro. Desiree does not notice this but does notice Armand's "Dark and Handsome face" (84). Soon Armand pushes Desiree away because he thinks she is black. "It means" He answered lightly "That the child is not white; it means you are not white." The ongoing issue of race and Armand's pride in his name are addressed. In our day and age, race is not...