A Comparison of Status and Role in Society in “Desiree`S Baby” and “a Girl Called Apple”

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As adulthood is reached it is important to have a good reputation as one`s social status represents them. Hanan Al-Shaykh`s A Girl Called Apple, a story of an oasis girl who refuses to put up the flag in order to find a groom, and Kate Chopin`s Desiree`s Baby, a story of a couple in Louisiana that separate because of their races, are two stories in which status and role in society impacts the choices made by the characters. Everyone wants to have a high reputation and be powerful as they will be more privileged and respected. The theme of social status causes the conflict in both these stories. The theme is brought out through the characters, in this case, Apple and Armand. Both the stories are narrated in third person and the plots are constructed in a certain way in which the fact that social status is important is only revealed towards the end. A Girl Called Apple begins off with a short summary introducing Apple`s problem, with several rhetorical question regarding her marital status, “Fate? Accident? Or Apple's obstinacy which had refused and continued to refuse to raise the wedding flag on the roof?” (AGCA, L. 6-7) Slowly the story progresses, with years passing by, building up tension as Apple continues to refuse putting the flag up. In the end, when Apple finally decides to put up the flag, it is revealed to the reader and she herself realizes she refused to have the flag up because she has been afraid of being rejected all this while. Desiree`s Baby begins with Madame Valmonde going to see the baby. The past is mentioned giving the reader an adequate background on Desiree mentioning she was an orphan. The turning point of the story is when Desiree and Armand discover their child has black origin. Armand asks Desiree, the girl he loves and once accepted keeping in mind she`s an orphan, to leave. It is a shocking moment since his love for her was extremely strong and an image that Armand is willing to accept Desiree for whoever she is is built by the...
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