Symbolism In Desiree's Baby By Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin, an author during the antebellum period, discusses the importance of women throughout many of her works. During the antebellum period, women had no rights compared to men and African Americans had even less rights. Women were stereotypical supposed to stay home and care for the children. Kate Chopin viewed women differently, her works put women in a position of power, which cause great controversy during this time. Throughout the short story entitled “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin includes many examples of racial and gender bias through irony, element of surprise, and symbolism to support that Armand was unaware of his past and ethnic origin, only learning about his parentage from reading a letter discovered at the end of the story. In the story, Armand, the father and plantation owner, treated his slaves with no respect or human decency just as his father treated slaves growing up. Due to his lighter skin tone, Armand believed it made him much superior to the African American slaves. Chopin states “...the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves”(2). This evidence shows the reader how the slaves viewed him as their owner, which was not in a positive light. The slaves symbolized Armand as a satan like figure, who would do anything and everything to receive what he wishes. The irony presented within this section includes Armand not knowing of his ethnic past before reading the letter, he might not have treated his
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