“Desiree’s Baby”

Topics: Slavery, Race and Ethnicity, Miscegenation Pages: 2 (494 words) Published: November 3, 2008
“Desiree’s Baby”
“Desiree’s Baby” (1899) by Kate Chopin, is a short story about love and rejection. The story was written when racism was more common than it is today. It’s about a woman (Desiree) of unknown nationality, adopted as a baby by Monsieur and Madame Valmonde’, who married a wealthy slave owner (Armand) of Louisiana. They seem to be very devoted to one another and eventually have a child. Desiree believes that “Armand is the proudest farther in the parish, she believed chiefly because it is a boy to bear his name”. In the beginning her husband Armand is very happy with the birth of their son. It wasn’t until three months later the boy’s skin had seem to be darker than their own. Eventually they realize that the boy's skin is the same color as the quadroon (one-quarter African). Armand believes the child is of mixed race. He instantly blames Desiree since she was adopted at a young age and her nationality is unknown, she can't deny it. Armand blames the color of the little boy’s skin on Desiree and rejects her and the child. Armand immediately assumes that she is part Black. “It is a lie it is no true, I am white Look at my hair, it is brown my eyes are gray, Armand you know they are gray. And skin fair,” “look at my hands whiter than yours, Armand.” She writes her mother and tell her whats going on and she “tells Desiree to return to the Valmonde’ estate with the child where they both will be loved”. She is so shocked she sets off towards a local bayou with the boy where she is never seen again. Armand had made the decision to lose his family in order to save his name and it was too late to bring Desiree’ back. Armand had begun to letters that she had sent him before they were married. While he was burning her letters he came across part of an old letter written from his mother to his father, that his mother belonged to the race that was cursed by the brand of slavery, which made him part black. Armand’s own ignorance led him to believe that every...
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