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Prejudice In Desiree's Baby By Kate Chopin

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Growing up with her widowed mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother during the civil war, it is no surprise that Kate Chopin chose to write about prejudice against women and African Americans. This is greatly evident in “Desiree’s Baby,” the story of Desiree, a woman who suffers greatly partly because of her gender. Chopin is very purposeful in her writing, relying on literary structures in her story of prejudice. She exposes prejudice though character relationships, imagery, character’s confusion, the characters readers sympathize with, and even character names. Armand and Desiree’s relationship symbolizes how people perceive victims of gender discrimination. Desiree fears Armand so greatly that the slightest bit of his discomfort makes her physically shake. “When [Armand] [frowns] [Desiree] [trembles]” (Chopin 2). Desiree is afraid of Armand because she knows he has the power to ruin her. Armand has the ability to devastate Desiree and her child, which gives her the impression of vulnerability. People who suffer from discrimination are often seen as…show more content…
She uses a gunshot, avalanche, and prairie fire to symbolize Armand’s destructive nature. “Armand Aubigny… had fallen in love with her...as if struck by a pistol shot” (Chopin 1). The imagery of the pistol shot represents the precipitate nature of their love and marriage. Likewise, “the passion… swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire” (Chopin 1). Armand is very intense in all aspects of his life. The severity of his emotions and actions symbolize the devastating affect prejudice has on our society. Not only does prejudice affect the victims of it, but prejudice also has a disastrous impact on friends, family and the community. In “Desiree’s Baby,” Armand’s discrimination impacts her son, mother, and all of the slaves at L’Abri. Affecting so many people, prejudice is reprehensible and should be treated as
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