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Have you ever noticed that race plays a major part in some peoples lives? In the story, Desiree’s Baby, you will see how race affects a relationship between the mother and father of a mixed baby. The protagonist is a white woman named Desiree who was found abandoned as an infant on a doorstep. Because Desiree’s baby appeared a different race, it broken up Desiree and Armand’s marriage.
Kate Chopin’s story, “Desiree’s Baby” is a story that is mainly about race. When Desiree gives birth to her child, the intended audience begins to become aware that there is a mystery about the child’s race. There are other characters noticeable LaBlanche’s which also serve to raise concerns about the baby’s racial identity. The author builds a mystery to provoke the characters and the reader’s concerns about race.
This story is about a woman that was abandoned when she was just a baby and was found by Madame Valmonde and took her in as her own. Armand was a boy that had just moved to the U.S. from Paris, he has met Desiree before but did not notice her again until she was older. She was as beautiful as she can be, and he instantly fell in love with her. Armand and Desiree were married, and they had a child which was a boy. When the baby was about three months old, Desiree starts to notice that her baby boy’s skin is different. Which means that he could possibly be a different race.
Madame Valmonde had not seen Desiree and the baby for four weeks and decides to go visit them. “This is not the baby!” she exclaimed, in startled tones” (Chopin 2). Madame Valmonde reacted like this because she noticed the baby changed since the lase time she saw him. Armand notices it as well and tries to make Desiree believe that she is the reason for her son being a different race.
He immediately avoids Desiree and the baby and even ask her to leave with the baby because the baby was not completely Caucasian. “Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L’Abri. In the centre of the smoothly swept back yard was a great bonfire” (Chopin 4). Armand did this, so he could burn everything that reminded him of Desiree and the baby. While in the middle of burning the things that reminded him of them he found a letter from his mother to his father. The letter stated, “But, above all,” she wrote, “night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery” (Chopin 4). All along Armand was part black and did not know it. The author uses detailed words in “Desiree’s Baby” to describe the theme, message, and intentions to captivate the reader’s feelings about the story. Race played a significant role in this story. The baby’s racial profile changed how Armand felt about Desiree.
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