This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Désirée's Baby By Kate Chopin Essay

1857 words - 7 pages

A tale of tragic injustice, “Désirée's Baby” explores racism at its worst, through a falling out of love because of it. Kate Chopin, who was born in 1851, died in 1904 when she was about 53 years old (Chopin 150). She wrote “Désirée's Baby” in 1894(Chopin 150). It is a short, to-the-point depiction of racism and injustice in Louisiana during before the Civil war (Chopin 150). It is set on a plantation called L'Abri, which is the family home of the Aubignys (Chopin 150). The main characters are Désirée, Armand Aubigny, and Madame Valmonde. Désirée was found by Monsieur Valmonde when she was a baby left by the side of the road. He and Madame Valmonde adopted her and raised her. She grew into a sweet, sensitive young lady, and when she was a little more than eighteen Armand Aubigny fell in love with her in the same place she had been found as a child (Chopin 150). Although her origin and parentage is not known, Armand decides to marry her. The main action of the story takes place soon after she has had their first child, a son. Armand's mother died when he was quite young. As their baby gets a bit older, it becomes obvious that he is not entirely white, meaning one of his predecessors was black. Armand, believing that it is Désirée who carries the black in her blood, and that he has been tricked by God, sends mother and child away. He finds out too late that the black genes came from his own mother. “Désirée's Baby” is sharply pointed, like an arrow aimed straight at the heart of racial hatred and, more importantly, people's tendency to make harsh judgments out of their own ignorance or animosity. In her story, Chopin makes use of literary devices such as simile, foreshadowing, and irony, while using the viewpoint of an omniscient third person, in order to create an enduring message.
Chopin used a total of seven similes in “Désirée's Baby.” All of these likenings are found in the narration of the story. More than hald of them are used to describe Armand's behavior while he was in love with Désirée. Chopin says that “all the Aubignys fell in love[] as if struck by a pistol shot.” (Chopin 150) Furthermore, “[t]he passion that awoke in him […] swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles.” (Chopin 150). These similes, used to strengthen the description of his love for Désirée, contrast poignantly with his later behavior when he believes it is her parentage that has caused their baby to be “yellow” (Chopin 150). “Simile” is defined by Dictionary.com as “a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”” (Simile) A simile is an effective literary device for expounding on an idea or image. When the concept one is trying to communicate is not readily grasped by the general audience, the use of a simile can mean all the world, simply by comparing the difficult or uncommon concept with one that is understood more widely. Note also that it can...

Find Another Essay On Désirée's Baby by Kate Chopin

Analysis of Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin

1557 words - 6 pages John Moore Professor Gary Walker American Literature II March 6th, 2014 Desiree’s Baby and Southern Social Structure The short story Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin provides a sobering depiction of how the dark forces of prejudice and social hierarchy tore apart a plantation owning family in the state of Louisiana. Desiree’s character is that of a lady who carries the burden of being submissive to a domineering husband, a role she keeps until the

Analysis of Desiree Baby by Kate Chopin

677 words - 3 pages “Desiree Baby” by Kate Chopin is a very thought provoking short story that deals with racism, prejudice, and love. The story takes place in southern Louisiana, where Armand, a prominent landowner, marries a girl of unknown origin named Desiree. The story has a twist when their baby is born and is discovered to be of mixed race. Armand knew all along that he was OF mixed race, and I will prove it by analyzing characterization, diction, and

True Love Cannot Be Broken: Desiress's Baby by Kate Chopin

932 words - 4 pages “Désirée’s Baby” by Kate Chopin is the epitome of amazing love. This story can be compared to “The Story of an Hour”, as well as “The Storm”. However, rather than highlight her character’s sexuality or internal emotional conflicts, Chopin manages to make a gradual impact on Desiree’s strength, courage, and pride; elements that made me fall in love with the story of a woman who is a victim of assumptions, lies, and racism. Unconditional love is

Racism in The Father of Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin

1185 words - 5 pages baby became older. The next few line explains it clearly. “When the baby was about three months old Désirée awoke one day to the conviction that there was something in the air menacing her peace. It was at first too subtle to grasp” (Chopin 195).” It had only been a disquieting suggestion; an air of mystery among the blacks; unexpected visits from far-off neighbors who could hardly account for their coming” (Chopin 195). Then a strange, an awful

Explore in detail the poem 'Nothings Changed' by Tamatakhulu Afrika and the story 'Desiree's baby' by Kate Chopin, commenting on how the authors have presented the relationship between black and white...

1331 words - 5 pages Explore in detail the poem 'Nothings Changed' by Tamatakhulu Afrika and the story 'Desiree's baby' by Kate Chopin, commenting on how the authors have presented the relationship between black and white people."Nothings Changed" is an autobiographical poem written by Tatamakhulu Afrika. "Nothing's Changed" is set in South Africa. The area District six used to be a mixed race inner city community where people of all beliefs lived peacefully. But in

Storm By Kate Chopin

2588 words - 10 pages The Passion The storm is a tale of intense love and feminine sexuality of Calixta and her lover Alcee, who erupted their irresistible passion, which had surged up during the past years. The story involved all together 5 characters, Bobinot, her wife Calixtia, Bibi his four year old son, Alcee (Calixtia's lover), and her wife Clarssee. Kate Chopin deliberately tried to build up curiosity into the reader and ambiguity in the end by revolving the

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

1148 words - 5 pages through her struggles is to commit suicide. By showing her awakening from her troubles Kate Chopin shows how sexism can affect a woman internally and externally. Kate Chopin tells of a woman in Desiree's Baby who gave birth to a child. As the child grows older, it becomes obvious that the child is of mixed decent. The father grows colder and colder toward Desiree and the baby. Far quite a while she stays and deals with him being cold and distant

"The Storm" by Kate Chopin

1090 words - 4 pages Reinforcing the Plot Through the Setting As Seen In "The Storm"The short story "The Storm" by Kate Chopin revolves around a setting that is both exciting and enticing. Chopin's portrayal of the storm's setting reinforces the plot's main thematic elements through descriptive imagery that coincides with the characters emotions throughout the story. The characters in this story, Alcee and Calixta in particular, each make their own best of the

The Storm by Kate Chopin

890 words - 4 pages The Storm is a story Written by Kate Chopin. The time at which the story was set is in the 19th century. The story was set in Louisiana and in real sense, Louisiana is a place that is best known for violent storms. The story is about is a confrontation of the theme of femininity and complexities of the married people in the storm. The storm is used throughout the story, and it only ends after the characters, Alcee and Calixta’s sexual

The Storm by Kate Chopin

979 words - 4 pages The Storm by Kate Chopin In the story "The Storm", Kate Chopin plots a situation in which two people surrender to their physical desires. Chopin wrote fiction stories in the late 19th century. She was condemned due to the immorality presented in her work. At her times, woman was considered to be very innocent, and always faithful to her husband. In Chopin's work one sees a totally different view of a woman's behavior. She is not a

The Storm by Kate Chopin

1781 words - 7 pages merely a happy coincidence, I believe its mention in the story was intentional. Finally, we have the storm, so central to the theme of the story that it was named for it. In this work, as well as others by Chopin, there is a recurring theme of infidelity, or women behaving in ways that society generally doesn’t accept, women behaving badly, if you will, I cannot help but wonder if Kate Chopin used her writing to express desires that she would

Similar Essays

Desiree's Baby, By Kate Chopin Essay

1304 words - 5 pages Throughout time, humans struggled with issues of conformity and individuality. In the modern world, individuality is idealized, as it is associated with strength. Weak individuals are usually portrayed as conforming to society and having almost no personal ideas. In “Desiree’s Baby”, a short story, the author Kate Chopin deals with the struggles of African descendants in the French colonies during the time of slave labor. The protagonist is a

Desiree's Baby By Kate Chopin Essay

1274 words - 5 pages “Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could” are words deeply moving and thoughtful to love and life. In Kate Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby, it seemed Armand Aubigny’s love for his baby and wife had done exactly that, transformed him into a happier plantation owner. His wife, Desiree

Desiree's Baby By Kate Chopin Essay

2112 words - 8 pages Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin Desiree's Baby is a short story written by Kate Chopin. It is set in 19th century Louisiana. The story starts with Madame Valmondé going to visit Desirée and her baby. She thinks back on her memories of Désirée as a baby: "It made her laugh to think of Désirée with a baby. Why it seemed but yesterday that Desirée was little more than a baby herself." This quote tells us two

Foreshadowing In Desiree’s Baby By Kate Chopin

889 words - 4 pages In the short story Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin, there are many examples of foreshadowing that provides the reader with insight on the events to come. Chopin constantly hints at the importance of lineage and origin which informs the readers that it will play a large part within the plot. Significant families in the South take pride in their heritage and name which are seemingly important to Armand; important enough to abandon his wife and child