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Desiree's baby analysis

Kate Chopin often wrote about sensitive topics throughout her lifetime, and one of which is still
taking place in America today.
- In the story "Desiree's Baby," Chopin brilliantly highlights the horrible attitude of racial and gender
discrimination that prevailed in the South of United States during the 19th century.
1. First and foremost, the physical and psychological impacts of racial inequality on colored people
are reasonably depicted in the story.
 To begin with, racism is illustrated in the manner that black people were slaves to white
people. They have to endure poor treatment and racist behaviors from their white owners,
which can be seen in Armand’s treatment: “Young Aubigny’s rule was a strict one, too, and
under it his negroes had forgotten how to be gay, as they had been during the old master’s
easy-going and indulgent lifetime.”
 The details exemplify the violence and physical abuse is closely related to the slavery that
black people have to endure.
 Moreover, due to that practice, internalized black perceptions of black inferiority were
shaped, which resulted in the fact that Madame didn't allow her to grow up her child and she
didn't let her son know that his mother is black. She is afraid that if Armand knows that his
mother is black, he will be ashamed of his origin. So, even the black women discriminated
against herself.
2. However, not only blacks suffer from racial discrimination but even mix-raced people also
experienced it.
 Although La Blanche has a white skin as her name suggested, she is of a mixed race, thus, she
is a slave. Armand purely takes her for granted as if she is his “property”, particularly, his sex
 Furthermore, racism is also depicted in the relationship between Armand and Desiree. Since
the revelation of their son’s skin color, Armand changes from a happy, carefree father and
husband to his former self and even tougher than before “When he spoke to her, it was with
averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out”. He absents himself
frequently from home and avoids Desiree’s presence with the child.
 Armand’s treatment of Desiree shows that he is ashamed, on the one hand, and no longer
sees her as a person worthy of respect on the other. Desiree’s beauty made him not care
about her “mysterious past”; but the idea that she is black becomes overwhelmingly
important and shameful for him, is enough to kill the love and the pride and even destroy
 In fact, Armand gave himself a right to be superior to others as he believed he was of a pure
white. Nevertheless, at the end of the story, he was aware of his origin by his mother’s letter
but it was too late to change everything.
 Hence, he had to suffer for the rest of his life because of guilt torturing him. Just because of
his mistakes, Armand banished those he should love the most, indirectly forced them to die.
Not only did him reject his wife and child but he also rejected himself.
- Chopin successfully constructs these characters and their actions to give an insight to the place
and time period of the story, which gives a truthful picture of the horrible reality of racial and gender
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