Symbolism In 'Desiree's Baby'

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A common theme that has lived most distinctly in the South for decades, exists still today. Most of the culture, especially during the Antebellum Era, believed that no Caucasian should even associate with individuals of color, for they were of substance, simply as property. The author of “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin, existed in this era, one in which racism and slavery were ever-prevalent, leading to her focus upon the issue of race throughout her works, particularly “Desiree’s Baby.” Her writing is solely based upon her experiences, which has influenced individuals for centuries. Chopin 's characterization of Armand, a character portraying one of high power in society, serves to illustrate the thoughts and ideals of individuals, particularly in the South, during the 19th century; furthermore, her usage of…show more content…
Chopin uses symbolism to show Desiree’s race by stating, “The young mother was recovering slowly, and lay full length, in her soft white muslins and laces, upon a couch.” The way Chopin illustrates Desiree’s clothing leaves readers thinking of her as pure. For Desiree to represent as ‘clean,’ leaves Armand having to be mixed. When Armand plays innocent and acts harshly towards Desiree, Desiree compares her skin to his. In the story, Desiree gets frustrated because she knows she embellished white by stating, “It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair,”seizing his wrist. “Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand,” she laughed hysterically.” When Desiree proves to Armand that she is white, it is easily seen that he can not stand being defeated. When Armand reacted saying, “As white as La Blanche’s,” he returned cruelly; and went away, leaving her alone with their child.”, it displayed he could not provide information that he is the white one because it only proved that his ethnicity is African
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