Foreshadowing In Desiree's Baby By Kate Chopin

838 Words4 Pages
“Racism is the refuge for the ignorant”. This quote by Pierre Berton speaks of the issues of racism. It focuses on the judgment of someone by race, and how this judgment and persecution is used in hate without having a real reason. In Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby”, these same issues are addressed. The short story is used to show the problems that circle people of a mixed race, and how these people are being treated wrongly. Kate Chopin uses foreshadowing, symbolism, and imagery to reveal the misplaced social perception of race.
Kate Chopin uses description that provides the reader with evidence of foreshadowing that being black on the Aubigny plantation is little better than being dead. This is apparent when Desiree’s mother comes
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She looks at Zandrine, the black maid, for conformation, and when she finds it asks about Armand’s thoughts of the baby. This shows that she is afraid of what Armand thinks about the baby, because she knows how he treats his slaves. She sees that being on the plantation would be a death sentence, and is worried about her daughter and grandson. The trees on the plantation are also evidence of foreshadowing. The trees are described as being dark and solemn, saying that they are suffering. This description doubles as a metaphor for the slaves as well as foreshadowing of how their lives are.
The symbolic use of color in “Desiree’s Baby” reveals many things about the characters that can be used to infer things about their heritage. One of the most prominent of these is the placement to Desiree when Armand falls in love with her. She is seen standing “against the stone pillar in whose shadow she had lain asleep, eighteen years before,” uncovering a use of shadow as symbolism (Chopin, Page 1). Desiree had been in the shadow of the pillar when she was young, relating to the secret of where she originated; However, this places her out of the shadow, meaning that the shadows of her past are irrelevant. The irrelevance of her past cannot change what her baby inherited from his
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