He said nothing. Desiree's Baby. Privacy Policy. We can only imagine the heart wrenching turmoil he must have felt at that moment. Oh, mamma, I’m so happy; it frightens me.”. As the day was pleasant, Madame Valmondé drove over to L’Abri to see Désirée and the baby. And the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves. Kate Chopin wrote the short story, ''Désirée's Baby,'' in 1892, 27 years after slavery in America was abolished. Plot Summaries. “Desiree’s Baby”, by Kate Chopin, is the tale of a young woman who, despite the fact that her familial origins are unknown, is adopted as a baby by a prominent family. She was like a stone image: silent, white, motionless after she placed it there. Had he known of his “heritage” before hand, chances are! Armand has a reputation for his strict personality and for mistreating his slaves. And my skin is fair,” seizing his wrist. Admittedly, the racial element is very strong in this story, but it also illustrates the implications of the gender divide in 19th-century America. It made her laugh to think of Désirée with a baby. It only takes seconds! To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Armand has made the decision to lose his family in order to save his name and it’s too late to bring Désirée back. Science Teacher and Lover of Essays. She tried to speak to the little quadroon boy; but no sound would come, at first. She was a girl of no distinction, who had no history or reputation of family name like that of Armand, but despite this he fell in love “as if struck by a pistol shot”.(317). Both of these are significant characteristics of Kate Chopin's writing style. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. he would have approached life differently, but we have to assume this was hidden from him to protect him from the society in which he lived. She was thanking God for the blessing of her husband’s love:—, “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.”. Zandrine had to cut them this morning Is n’t it true, Zandrine?”, The woman bowed her turbaned head majestically, “Mais si, Madame.”, “And the way he cries,” went on Désirée, “is deafening. When he heard his name uttered, he looked up, and his mistress was pointing to the door. Racism was so ingrained in society that a mixed-race baby could never be accepted by a respectable white family. Come with your child.”. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. Armand has told me I am not white. “Oh, Armand is the proudest father in the parish, I believe, chiefly because it is a boy, to bear his name; though he says not,—that he would have loved a girl as well. Désirée was miserable enough to die. tell me.”. He did not answer her. What was not burned at the end of Desiree's Baby? In the old south, bloodlines are very important to the status of a family and their social placement, so the “purity” of the family must be kept. ''Désirée's Baby'' offers liberal foreshadowing to its shocking ending: At the end of the story, the reader is left to make the assumption that the baby's mixed heritage results from Armand's background rather than Désirée's. You must know it is not true. The story, ''Désirée's Baby'' tells a captivating and uncompromising tale of racism and class difference, set in pre-emancipation Louisiana. Unfortunately, there is something not quite right about the baby. This “purity” does not accommodate marriages of mixed race. When she could hold a pen in her hand, she sent a despairing letter to Madame V almondé. Why, it seemed but yesterday that Désirée was little more than a baby herself; when Monsieur in riding through the gateway of Valmondé had found her lying asleep in the shadow of the big stone pillar. Chopin is best known for the groundbreaking classic novella The Awakening (1899).. Désirée, a young woman adopted as a child, is married to a plantation owner named Armaud. You can find complete composition dates and publication dates for all Chopin’s works on pages 1003 to 1032 of The Complete Works of Kate Chopin, edited by Per Seyersted (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969, 2006). At the end of the story Armand has ordered his slaves to build a large bonfire on the grounds of the estate where he is to throw all of Désirée’s and the baby’s affects. For God’s sake tell them it is not true. Tragedy comes early in the marriage with the birth of their first child. Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L’Abri. The yellow nurse woman sat beside a window fanning herself. Did you know… We have over 200 college just create an account. She turned away like one stunned by a blow, and walked slowly towards the door, hoping he would call her back. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} “He thought Almighty God had dealt cruelly and unjustly with him and felt, somehow that he was paying him back in kind when he stabbed thus into his wife’s soul (319). She grows up to be a lovely young lady and is courted by Armand Aubigny, the son of one of the “oldest and proudest” families in Louisiana. 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. Women are obliged to follow the directives of their men, as Désirée does when she leaves L'Abri. What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana.” (316). The little cochon de lait! As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 “He absented himself from home and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse.”(317). Edgar Allan Poe’s The Mask of the Red Death: Summary & Analysis. Already registered? She has over 30 years of teaching experience.

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