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.
“A man who stands for nothing will fall for nothing.” The African american race, as many other people have faced many challenges and has been through many struggles and oppression. These events in history have fostered a sense of pride, and for some people a sense of hate.
Arnold David Arnold Hensley English 11/ Fifth Period 27 February 2018 Part 12: Rough Draft #1 In Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby” one will notice Chopin’s well known use of racism and local color in the story. With the story taking place in the deep South prior to the Civil War the reader will start to notice racism being incorporated into the story. Chopin uses this theme to show how crooked some people’s morals are in this time period.
With the denial of his past and of his race, comes hatred and racism into Armand’s heart and actions. This goes hand and hand with the denial aspect with the usage of characterization from Chopin’s part. Racism ran high in most people’s characteristics of this time because Chopin put this story’s in pre-Civil War times. With the treatment of his slaves, you can really see how Armand feels about others from the race that he sees as less than, even though he is really one of them. The substandard treatment of Armand’s slaves only stops once Desiree gives birth to the baby, but when there was a chance of Desiree being of an African descent, Armand sent her and their child away without thought, saying “Yes, I want to go” with no emotion showing in his voice or actions (3).
That identification brings on stereotypes that affect the perception or the society expectation of a particular group. Kate Chopin has written several short stories that examine the identity and society’s expectations of women based on race, age, and economic status. I will examine two short stories written by Kate Chopin: Desiree's Baby and A Re-Awakening - A Pair of Silk Stockings. In order to provide evidence of the theme: identity and society’s expectations, one must provide substantial details that promote my findings based on the short stories differences and similarities.
Throughout “Désirée’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, slavery and racism play a massive role in how the characters, particularly Armand Aubigny, interact with one another. In Armand’s case, he believes that he holds one of the oldest, proudest, and whitest names in nineteenth century Louisiana. The pride cached within the Aubigny legacy comes to dictate his life and virtually every drastic decision he makes; he appears to live in constant fear of having his name tarnished. His reputation and pride are established as his driving force, but also contribute to a hatred of anyone who is colored. He wills a strict and ominous slave ownership into reality as a result of this irrational fear and overabundance of pride.
Soon after he began to notice that the baby 's complexion became darker and made the assumption that the child is not his or his wife was of mixed race. The sad truth of the situation was received when he soon later discovered he was the one of mixed race, he then regretted telling his wife to leave with the baby (Chopin). Kate Chopin uses the different characters to create a storyline that the conflict of the story has ironic. (LitCharts)
Southern authors during the Antebellum era, such as Kate Chopin, author of several southern gothic short stories, published many works that changed the common ideals of southern culture, providing many literary instances that influenced the thoughts about gender bias and racial identity. This made especially evident within Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby.” In this story, she introduces a new and nontraditional concept of thought regarding gender and race, as well as their effects on daily life during the 19th century. Kate Chopin 's "Desiree 's Baby" exhibits several crucial thematic messages, one of which ultimately proves the impact of both racial and gender identities on social judgement, made evident by her use of symbolism and irony, proving that race not only attributes to social class, but gender does as well.
“Desiree’s Baby” is a twisted and heart wrenching story that takes place during a time of great racial inequality. The Devil seems to be very busy throughout the world as he escalates situations and spews lies into the thoughts of men, tearing them from their beloved families. The story “Desiree’s Baby” summons up a very saddening irony that the prejudiced Armand learns that it was his mixed parentage and not that of his wife which produced their mixed-race child whom he detested and rejected. Desiree’s child brings both Desiree and Armand together in love.
During the era in which this short story was written, southern authors had a major influence on the way the culture was going to grow with racism, and also the way people loved each other. Kate Chopin, a traditional author who believed in southern ways, exemplifies how race and the characteristics of conditional love played a role in her story. In “Desiree’s Baby,” the author, Kate Chopin, provides an illustration of conditional love exemplified by the character, Armand, towards his wife and child; furthermore, Chopin provides instances of irony, elements of surprise, foreshadowing, and symbolism to prove that Armand’s love for both of them was not the unconditional love typically felt and portrayed by women, such as Desiree, during this era. Throughout the story, the readers notice different times where Chopin uses elements of surprise. One major surprise is when Armand opens the letter from his mother and finds out that he has African American in his bloodline.
Desiree says good-bye to Armand and goes to the deserted field with her child and never came back. Armand was burning all of Desiree’s and the child’s materials into the bonfire. Then he found some letters from Desiree, but one was from his mother to his father, the letter said that she was grateful that Armand would never find out his mother was of slave heritage (Chopin). In “Desiree’s Baby, “ Kate Chopin uses imagery, foreshadowing and allusion to develop the ominos, mystery and sad story.
During the 1890’s until today, the roles of women and their rights have severely changed. They have been inferior, submissive, and trapped by their marriage. Women have slowly evolved into individuals that have rights and can represent “feminine individuality”. The fact that they be intended to be house-caring women has changed.
The literary movement of Regionalism was a time of self identification and exploration. Writers in this era wrote pieces based off of their own experience and surroundings. They explored topics not traditionally discussed in high brow literature and used their own personal language to illustrate their ideas. One of the more pronounced writers of this era was Kate Chopin, a widowed mother who wrote nearly exclusively about the Louisiana Bayou and women of her time. One of her most popular short stories was “Désirée’s Baby”, a piece dealing with race, heritage, and bayou culture.
“Desiree’s Baby” is a short story by Kate Chopin. “Desiree’s baby” is a story about a family in the era where the colored were neglected and treated poorly. Desiree was abandoned and left as a baby. When she was adopted she grew up in a very wealthy family. Armand and Desiree have known each other ever since they were little so when they grew up they got married.
“Desiree’s Baby was written by Kate Chopin and she talks about the issues people had back then with racism and gender. She demonstrated those problems by using literary devices such as symbols, conflict, and irony. I advise everyone to read this story for the fact this kind of conflict is still happening today and we need to work together for a change. Overall this was a great story and it teaches you many great lessons. Take a look