The Impact of Racial Adversity in the Relationship in Desiree’s Baby, a Short Story by Kate Chopin

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Race has been an important factor in western history, especially American history Race was the infamous issue why the Civil occurred, and it left America in an obscure burden for centuries. Race has always caused an issue, if the person is dark skin, in often cases, they get negativity from society, and if a person is light skin then they get more of a praise and well- treatment. In the story of Desiree’s baby, not only conveys the message of a relationship that falls apart due to race adversity but also the irony the story has towards the end the story begins with a narration of the author, telling the story of Madame Valdomore and how she is driving over to go see “Desiree’s baby”, in which the reader can immediately infer that he is the daughter of Madame. The story turns into the author narrating a flashback form Madame and how Desiree was just a baby a few years go.

Then the story then transitions into a short summary of Desiree‘s childhood; the author has not yet introduced us Desiree but we already know her background. Desiree is an orphan that was left by some Texans that were passing by and left her, in which Madame Valdomore picked up and decided to raise heri As Desiree was growing up no one knew her ethnic background, and Monsieur Valdomore always wondered the “girl’s obscure origin’fl They did not really mind it because she grew up to be a beautiful young woman. Due to her beautifulness, she often grabbed attention form the boys, but one particular boy grabbed her attention, his name was Armand. The author gives us an overview of what is Armand‘s background and he is a man that has just come from Paris but born originally in the US but due to the death of his mother he migrated to Paris and studied over there, Then he returned to the US to take care of his plantation that was form his family.

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When he met Desiree he fell in love and immediately married heri the problems started happening when Desiree had her baby, and her baby a dark skin, shades lighter than the parents. When Madame went and visited the baby, she grabbed him and held him up and saw how dark he was At the moment Madame assumed the ethnicity of Desiree and did not tell her anything, just that the baby was different. Armand was not near anyone’s head, that he could be the one with the African back grounds, but the assumption of the baby’s color of skin was more towards Desiree because nobody knew where her ethnic background came from, As months went by, the baby continued to look different and it was concerning Desiree. The father loved the baby at the beginning when the baby was born, but as he saw the baby growing old and saw the changes and he slowly stop loving the baby, regardless of the baby being his own blood and looking like him.

The story compels how Armand lost interest on what he loved due to the appearance, He was stressed, that he even started being different with Desireer One day Desiree looked at her baby and could not stand to tell Armand that her baby looked way different than other white babies. Armand found the perfect time to blow up on Desiree and bring up the issue of why her baby was darker than the other baby He told her that “her” baby; no longer his; was a little bit darker because of her ethnic background and not his. She is immediately hurt because she did not think Armand was going to react in such ways, She questioned the love he claimed to have for her and their child. She decided to write a letter to her mother, telling her how Armand was treating her and how he was blaming the color of their child on herr Immediately Madame replied telling her to “come back to the house with the baby” and Desiree listened and left Armand.

As she was leaving she told Armand, and as a woman having a hope of reconciliation, he ignored her and just told her to leave. The story switches to a few days later where Armand is burning letters, things from the baby’s room, trying to erase them from his life. As he was looking and burning the letters that Desiree wrote to him, he found a particular letter by his mothers The letter stated that he thank “God for the blessing of her husband love”, as Armand continued reading “Night and day, I thank the good god“, so arranged or lives that our Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery”.

Irony takes over the story and the reader gets surprised because in the beginning it was expected from Desiree to have an African gene because nobody knew about her ethnical background since she was left by her biological parents, By Armand erasing any trace of having a wife, a child and even of his ethnical background, the reader can infer that he was a coward. The reason why he did such things was because the setting of the story is post-civil war, and since he was in Louisiana, Jim Crow laws were emerging and it was not good to be mixed Even though Armand was not mixed, his child was His pride took the best out of him and society opinion at that time also took the best out of him.

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The Impact of Racial Adversity in the Relationship in Desiree’s Baby, a Short Story by Kate Chopin. (2023, Apr 15). Retrieved from

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