Desiree's Baby Thesis

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Thesis: The theme in "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin is a condemnation of racism. "It means . . . that the child is not white; it means that you are not white" (132). The previous statement is indeed very crucial to determining that the theme of the story "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin is a condemnation of racism. The proof that this is the theme lies within the time period when the story was written along with the stories setting, Armand's racist behavior, and the overall outcome of the story. The time period in which Chopin wrote "Desiree's Baby" as well as the time the story took place provides key insight to the theme since they are both surrounding the United States slavery era. Chopin wrote the story in the late nineteenth century …show more content…
Prior to realizing that the baby was part white and part black, Armand is happy and he treats his slaves nicely too (131). When he realizes that his baby is part white and part black, his behavior changes immensely. He stays away from Desiree and their son, and "the very spirit of Satan seemed to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves" (132). When Desiree realizes that her baby is part black, she asks Armand, "What does it mean?," and Armand simply replies by stating, "It means . . . that the child is not white; it means that you are not white" (132). He is unwilling to accept the possibility that it is he who is not white, because that would ruin his family name. Also, everyone knows that Desiree was abandoned, so it is more likely that she would be part black even though her skin color is lighter than his. At this point, Chopin is showing that because of Armand's racist views, he is willing to condemn his own wife and son by not accepting them as people but as …show more content…
After Desiree and her son are more or less disowned by Armand, she writes to her mother who replies by saying come home to her because she still loves them no matter what (132 – 133). When Desiree leaves, she does not go to Valmonde, but instead goes into the swamps and kills herself and the baby (133). She is so hurt by how her husband could just pretend that they never existed after assuming that she was part black, that she could not live with herself anymore. Then at the very end of the story, Armand finds out that his mother was black and he was the one who was part black (133-134). By doing this, Chopin shows that racism is not the answer, because now he has lost someone who loved him and cared about him, someone who would have probably seen past his being part black to make the relationship

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