Symbolism 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. The pride in which he instills into himself and his family name contributes to a hatred of anyone who is colored and this pride shapes Armand into a strict and ominous slave owner. While pride can be an expendable attribute, Armand allows his pride to dictate his life and decisions. Chopin writes a prime example of this dictation when she explains how his pride becomes damaged after his conscious draws him into believing that Désirée’s origins lie within black genetics. The letter from his mother to his father further damages his pride, in which he discovers that he is not purely white, but this revelation appears to have no effect on the way he treats his slaves. In her short story, Chopin uses the literary devices of characterization, irony, foreshadowing, and inferences to explain the origins of Armand’s racism and hatred for people of color and how the people throughout his life, primarily his wife and his father, molded him into the antagonist he is portrayed as. Chopin begins Armand’s characterization by explaining that prior to marrying Désirée and the birth of his son, he was considered to be a strict slave owner and this strictness brought misery upon his
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