Books and Movies Reviews

Desiree’s Baby

Kate Chopin’s short story, “Desiree’s Baby,” begins by explaining how
Desiree comes to live with Monsieur and Madame Valmonde;;;Monsieur Valmonde
finds her as a child sleeping on his property, and he and his wife decide
to raise her.When Desiree grows up, Armand Aubigny falls in love with
her, and despite Monsieur Valmonde’s warnings that Desiree’s origins are
unknown, Armand marries her and they have a baby boy.Atfirst, they are
both extremely proud and happy, and Armand even treats his Negro slaves
kindly because he is in such a joyful state of mind.However, Armand’s
manner changes when the baby is three months old: he stops looking into
Desiree’s eyes when he speaks to her, he treats the slaves awfully, and he
seems to fall out of love with Desiree.Desiree is miserable and cannot
understand why her husband has changed.One day she is in her room looking
at her sleeping child and she notices that his skin color is darker than
“normal;” she asks Armand what it means, and he tells her that the child is
not white, so therefore she must not be white, and he sends her away and
burns all of her things, only to read an old letter that reveals it was his
own mother who was black.The moment Armand presumed Desiree to be of
Negro origins, he wanted nothing to do with her or his own son because to
him, being black was completely inferior; however, the irony is that it was
him all along who had a black parent, sending Chopin’s message that judging
another human being based on his or her skin color is completely immoral
and unjustified.

The central character in this story is Desiree, who grows up to be a
“beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere” woman with a fair
complexion and long, silky brown hair.Desiree is happy and gleeful, is
kind to her slaves, and wants to please her husband in any way.Chopin
writes of Armand and Desiree: “When he frowned she trembled, but lov…

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