Desiree's Baby

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During the late 1800s, it was socially wrong for a woman to express herself. In many occasions, a woman would be unhappy in her marriage, which would often lead to depression or even suicide. This essay’s purpose is to examine a woman’s struggle, not only in her marriage, but also society as a whole.

The short story, Desiree’s Baby, which was written in 1892 by author Kate Chopin, explores the effect that a man has on his wife and child, which lead to her suicide. Although the author’s main argument of the story was the social class system, which involved slavery and racism, this can also be related to feminism. The story represents the third wave of feminism, which dealt with women’s rights, as well as different racial rights. At the beginning of the story, it is clear that Desiree is the adoptive daughter of Monsieur and Madame Valmonde, a wealthy Creole couple in Louisiana. After Armand, who is a respected man due to his last name being “…one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana.” (PAGE NUMBER), shows interest in Desiree, they soon marry and have a child. As their baby was growing up, Armand noticed the color of the baby’s skin, which resembled a quadroon, a term that is used to describe a person who is of African ancestry. Armand immediately jumped to the conclusion that this “curse” was due to the fact that Desiree’s race was unknown. “Then a strange, an awful change in her husband’s manner, which she dared not ask him to explain. When he spoke to her, it was with averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out. He absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse. And the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves. Desiree was miserable enough to die.” (143) It is stated that Armand takes his rage out on his slaves, and after disowning his family, he asks Desiree to leave and take “her” baby. The short story ends with Desiree...
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