Desiree's Baby Short Story Analysis

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“Desiree’s Baby” is a short story written by Kate Chopin. One of the main characters, Desiree, has a mysterious background due to her being found as a baby orphan asleep behind a pillar near the gateway of the town. She was found by the Valmondes which were quick to take her in and raise her as their own. Desiree grew into a beautiful young lady with attractive qualities and later fell in love with a man named Armand Aubigny. Not soon after their marriage they had a handsome child. However, catastrophe began when the child’s skin darkened which caused Armand to question Desiree’s background and decided to banished her. Surprisingly, it was Armand himself that learned he contained African American ancestry from a hidden letter his mother wrote…show more content…
Irony is defined as a technique that involves surprising, interesting, or amusing contradictions or contrasts (“A Glossary....” 1). The author talks about how Armand is getting rid of Desiree’s things as they are no longer together. He then discovers some letters that he concluded to be hers when he noticed one in the very back. He reads the letter and discovers that it was his mother writing to his father. The letter read, “… I thank 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” (Chopin 5). This huge reveal shows that Armand himself has African American ancestry! This truly had to of turned his world upside down. Everything he had believed in and thought about himself was a lie. Armand may be seen as hypocritical here because “ He has treated his slaves with violence and cruelty based on the color of their skin, and now he must face the fact that he is part African American himself” (“Irony in Desiree’s Baby”…1). This plot twist is somewhat beautiful in a tragic way because it leaves the readers in shock and the antagonist is in complete dismay. Armand could of had a beautiful life with a loving family but he chose to let lineage destroy their future. Desiree loved him madly but as soon as he thought she was part African American he got rid of her. The greatest part of this…show more content…
It is positive because they have someone who loves them deeply ,but is also negative because the monumental amount of love makes things even more tragic when Armand banishes Desiree and their child. The way Chopin uses the theme of love and racism is actually a brilliant combination. These two themes together make a compelling story that appeals to those who are more sentimental as well as those who enjoy stories containing a plot twist. The conflict of this story is created in a smart way because the author builds up the story by starting it off nice and innocent with an orphan child that is taken in by a loving family then to a drastic change of having a sort of forbidden love. This potentially attracts the reader and drags their attention further into the story. Chopin knew this technique would draw the readers in and then surprise them with an ironic ending. Once I read the ending I was in complete shock. Ultimately, after analyzing this short story I now realize my reaction is exactly how Chopin wanted the reader to react. This is a short story I highly recommend for others to read! It is a very interesting story that has good rising action that leads to a surprise twist at the end. Everyone should read this story at least once and I guarantee you that you’ll

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