Feminist Criticism on Desiree's Baby

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“For the girl grew to be beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere – the idol of Valmonde.” (Page 1, third paragraph, last sentence) Kate Chopin, a female author, mirrored the place of women in the society through her novel. She described Desiree as to what we think “perfect” or “fit” for a woman. Come to think about it, these words signified vulnerability and weakness. Women are often complimented with their physical attributes and dainty personalities. On the other hand, Armand Aubigny is said to be ‘imperious’ and “exacting.” (Page 2, fifth paragraph, first sentence) Men are often associated with powerful and authority. It is with these use of words that male is dominant and women, like Desiree, are just an accessory to the society.

“… Armand is the proudest father … because it is a boy, to bear his name; though he says not, -- that he would have loved a girl as well. But I know it isn’t true …” -Desiree (Page 2, fourth paragraph, first sentence) Young boys are expected to replace their father in the future because they believe on what men can do rather than the young girls’ future. For a female infant, the future only lies on marriage to privileged men in the land. Desiree, too, believed that Armand would rather choose, or deserve, to have a son to carry his name than a daughter.

“My own Desiree; Come home to Valmonde; back to your mother who loves you. Come with your child.” (Page 3, sixth paragraph) Madame Valmonde is a mother, who is to protect her children. But she can’t do anything against Armand and his accusation. All she could to is to invite her child to come back, without answering Desiree’s question. The novel indeed portrayed the women so weak, even the right to speak is locked from the power that the men hold. What could she do to justify that Desiree is white? Nothing, because Armand’s voice is powerful than hers, and aside from that, she has nothing to prove, she didn’t know where...
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