Pride In Désirée's Baby

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Throughout “Désirée’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, slavery and racism play a massive role in how the characters, particularly Armand, interact with one another. In Armand’s case, he believes that he holds one of the oldest and proudest names in Louisiana, while pridefully boasting about his pure, white heritage. This pride in which he instills into himself and his family name contributes to a hatred of anyone who is colored, and it is this pride that shapes Armand into a strict and ominous slave owner. While most assume pride is expendable, Armand allows his pride to dictate his life and decisions. Chopin writes a prime example of this dictation when she explains how his pride is damaged after he is drawn into believing that Désirée is partially black. His pride is even further damaged when he discovers that he is not purely white, but this revelation has no effect on the way he treats his slaves. In her short story,…show more content…
She goes to him and pleads that she is not black, even comparing her hand color to his. Her attempts to persuade Armand are useless, and he continues to believe she is black and that his heritage is permanently damaged. Chopin writes that “Moreover he no longer loved her, because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name (Chopin 3).” He swiftly dismisses Désirée and his son from the plantation due to the “damage” she has brought upon him. Soon afterwards, in an ironic turn of events, Chopin writes that Armand discovers a letter from his mother to his father while burning Désirée’s possessions. Upon reading this letter, it is revealed that Armand is truly the one with black heritage, as his mother had been black. The letter explicitly states that he “belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery (Chopin 4) .” Despite this revelation, Armand continues to treat the slaves poorly and never reconciles with
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