Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Desirees Baby free essay sample

Race and Inequality in â€Å"Desiree’s Baby† â€Å"Desiree’s Baby† is a tragic short story written by Kate Chopin. The story is about the struggle between the main characters Armand and his wife Desiree. The relationship is torn apart after they come to the realization that they have a quadroon baby or quarter black. Neither of them know that either one could be the cause of the mixed baby. Armand sees this as a curse to his family name and disowns Desiree and the baby. After Desiree and her baby are disowned by Armand, Desiree feels she has nothing to live for. She disappears into the bayou where we can only guess she kills herself. In the end, we learn that when Armand is burning the possessions of Desiree and the baby he finds a note from his mother to his father revealing the truth. It was his mother that carried the blood of the slaves. We will write a custom essay sample on Desirees Baby or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page Chopin uses the story of â€Å"Desiree’s Baby† to discuss gender, race, and the inequality between them in a time when slavery and race were mainstream issues of the day. The main theme of the short story is inequality. Inequality is shown throughout the story not only in a racial way but in terms of gender as well. Women were considered lower than the men and were thought to be weak not strong. They did not have many rights or possessions, Armand married Desiree for her beauty and all her becoming attributes so it would add wealth to his name and home. He clearly viewed her as a possession much like the slaves he owned. The Perry2 racial inequality is perceived through the fact that Chopin decided to set the story during the time of slavery. The setting of Desiree’s Baby takes place in a time when slavery was a way of life for many. Cotton plantations owned by the upper class white housed many African people where they were enslaved to pick the cotton. This was a time when the color of one’s skin mattered. Blacks were viewed as lower class race not worthy of placement in normal society. This story takes place within the cotton plantations making it very tense for the reader when confronted with the idea that Desiree had a quadroon baby. The fact that a wealthy white couple had a quadroon child would bring disgrace to the family name. Armand suspects Desiree is the one who is half black, which could very well be true. She was taken in by her father Monsieur Valmonde when she was found under the shadow of a stone pillar at the entrance to their home. Madame Valmonde was unable to conceive a child and viewed this as a blessing from god and they raised her as if she was their own. She grew up to be beautiful and with a white appearance. Armand fell in love with her and was reminded that she was nameless. He knew that she could have been the cause of the mixed baby by her unknown origin. Knowing this, he was very quick to decide she was the cause of the disgrace to his name and home, and from that point grew cold hearted and shunned them away. During the time this story was set it would have been unheard of for a powerful white couple who owned a large cotton plantation to have a mixed baby. The characters of Desiree and Armand are opposites of each other. Armand cares more for his name and status than the love of a woman who cares deeply for him. He doesn’t see or doesn’t care that his relationship with Desiree goes deeper than the color of his child’s skin. He Perry3 only looks to uphold his untainted name. Desiree is a loving woman and cares nothing for the image set forth by her child. She is only there because of the love she has for Armand and the child. When this love is seen in a different light she feels she has nothing left to live for, disappearing with her baby never to return. As illustrated by Chopin’s choice of setting and content the main theme of this story is obviously race and gender inequality. The plantation setting of slavery times and the struggle between the main characters of Armand and Desiree, allows the reader to visualize the setting and understand the perceptions and views of the people that lived in this time period. Though some of these views were based on racial inequality as well as gender inequality this story does give the reader insight into the consequences that are faced when someone is too quick to judge a person from the outside, and treat them with cruelty and disregard because they are different. Had Armand not been so quick to pass judgment he may have been able to offer a solution to his plight, much like the solution his parents made with him. Perry4 Works Cited Chopin, Kate. Complete Novels and Stories. 2000. 242-47. eBook. Desirees Baby free essay sample Jorge Pasada Desiree’s Baby In Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin the author uses situational irony to convey the deformed consciences of the time period. In the story the reader believes Desiree leaves L’Abri plantation because she is part African American and therefore cannot be married to Armand. Even though Armand dearly loves Desiree, â€Å"The passion that awoke in him that day†¦swept†¦like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles† he forces her to leave anyway. This action shows the strength racial issues played in the lives of people during slavery times. However, the reader does not fully understand the deformation of Armand’s conscience until the end of the book when the irony is revealed. Chopin uses Armand’s situation to illuminate the deformed consciences of the time period. Armand causes Desiree to leave his plantation because â€Å"[Desiree’s] child is not white; it means that you are not white. We will write a custom essay sample on Desirees Baby or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page † This situation was known to happen during slavery times, however rare it was. If a mixed child was found the white parent would be in a great deal of trouble, so most of the time something was done to resolve the situation. Armand’s solution was for Desiree to leave the plantation, â€Å"‘Shall I go, Armand? ’ ‘Yes, go. ’† Although it seems this is a sad ending the reader does not fully understand Armand’s deformed conscience until the end of the story. He has a great bonfire in which he burns everything that belonged to Desiree. However, when cleaning a drawer of love letters to burn he finds one from his mother to his father which says, â€Å"our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery. † Armand drives Desiree away because he believed she was part black, in reality he was the one who was part black. This irony shows how greatly deformed Armand’s conscience is. The skillfull use of situational irony by Chopin exposes Armand’s deformed conscience. The racial hatred is so deep in his mind that he drives away his wife and child because he believes they are both part African American. However, in reality he is the child of a mixed marriage and it is he who causes his child to be mixed. His anger and quick decision to have Desiree leave cause him to be alone and probably sad. By using situational irony Chopin causes Armand to realize the harshness of his acts against his family and conveys his deformed conscience

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