Pride, Love, And Race In Desiree’s Baby By Kate Chopin
In the story, Desiree’s Baby, which written by Kate Chopin there is some type of intellect such as karma and consequence which is displayed throughout the story. The story goes in dept about how a man’s pride disabling the love he has for his wife and race. The overall purpose of this essay is to inspect why Armand’s pride was too big for love and his wife, Desiree and how race altered everything.
Throughout this story, Armand was described as the man who had it all. He thought that because of his family name which he thought was, “one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana”. Armand was known to be a slave owner but his family name was highly respected he used his family name to feel like royalty instead of him owning slaves. Armand’s pride started to show before his family when he felt he had to protect his family name by any means. Armand didn’t want anything destroying or disrespecting his family name which was very well-known for owning slaves. He told Desiree and the baby to leave since he assumed that she had African American blood flowing through her veins. He was so ashamed and he had so much pride he didn’t want anyone to judge or make fun of the situation, Armand states he “no longer loved her because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and family”. When Armand says “unconscious injury” he is referring it as a lost memory he senses his wife lost the right to her culture. Armand feelings were hurt because of the embarrassment his wife put the family name Aubigny through.
Love was also a major problem throughout this short story with Armand and Desiree Aubigny. Armand and Desiree met when she was eighteen when he rode the past her as “she stood one day against the stone pillar” when Armand saw Desiree he knew it was love at first sight. In the text it states “fell in love, as if struck by pistol shot” this expression means all the Aubignys fell in love or liked Desiree very much. Everything happened rapidly between Desiree and Armand they got married then she had Armand’s son. I think Desiree loved Armand and her son more than Armand ever tried to because she recognized he was a respectable man but he changed after they have gotten married. This means, the only true love Desiree had was for her parents who had adopted her. The real true love throughout the married couples’ lives was the love they had for their parents. Love more or dark love anticipated this action. It was extremely difficult to say who suffered the most: Desiree wanted Armand so much, but would rather die (and probably died after walking into the wilderness) she rather dies than returning back to her parents. Armand love led him to quickly marring Desiree without even knowing was she half black or at least find out the proper knowledge of Desiree’s family history. If Armand would have known she was a pure Caucasian woman he would have questioned his own family history. Armand is mixed, he would not lose his family name, wife and child the way he did.
Secondly, race is a huge issue in the short story aside from pride and love. Armand assumed he identified his background and who he actually was and he believed Desiree was the main reason why their child is mixed. Since, Desiree was adopted he did not know anything about her biological parents or her ethnicity so, Armand blamed her for being black. Desiree looked white because her pale hands and grey eyes. Race is a color not a derivation. Desiree had an “obscure origin”, she believed she was not the reason why the baby is mixed.
The tone of the story is gloomy, implying trouble is near, mainly as a result of the decisions of the decisions that Armand Aubigny makes. otherwise, the cheerfulness Desiree express her love for Armand and excitement for her newborn serve as a brighter moment in the story. The opposite side of my dispute is that Desiree’s baby has nothing to do with love but only pride and prejudice. A criticizer in the article of the claims of Desiree’s baby, has his own opinion that slightly segregates from mines. He says that the story uses racism, a man’s pride selfishness.
In this story Chopin uses metaphors and similes such as “the blood turned like ice in her veins.” Desiree gradually comes to understand what exactly has been the cause of the alteration in Armand’s behavior: the fact that their child has mixed racial heritage, roof (simile) “the roof came down steep and black like a cowl.” This describe the all-encompassing, controlling nature of Armand’s home, something like his own behavior and approach to life, bed (Simile) ‘The baby, half-naked, lay asleep upon her own great mahogany bed, that was like a sumptuous throne, with its satin-linked half-canopy.’ By relating the bed to a power, Chopin also relates the baby to royalty. This acts like a vision of sorts: soon the royalty with which the baby is being treated might end.
In the text Racial Beliefs Among Blacks and Whites: An Assessment of Standpoints talk about racial relationships and segregation how blacks and whites weren’t allowed to be a couple. If someone see a black and white person they would bash them or try to kill them also, this was in the 1800s so that was prohibited at the time “social disentrance which segregated blacks and whites”. This led to a big fight between some blacks and whites (Charles). Throughout the text I notice that the author is talking about the belief structure that blacks and whites have of each other effects day-to-day relations between them. Often, for example blacks and whites must cooperate in a diversity of situations which involve at least a slight level of announcement and cooperation. However, awkwardness, misunderstanding, hostility, and disbelief often make the relations between them unproductive. Many laymen and social scientists argue that these problems occur because blacks and whites see themselves through different social differences. Lastly in the story Old-Fashioned Racism and New Forms of Racial Prejudice is talking about formed and newer forms of racial prejudice but questions persist about their uniqueness. We reconsider the changes between these two forms of prejudice, disagreeing that harmful racial stereotypes are the active radical element in the new prejudice. The author states confusion ad persists of justice” meaning they wanted justice for all the stereotypes and negative comments toward black African Americans
In the story, Desiree’s Baby, written by Kate Chopin in 1892, there are plenty of topics that are brought along such as gender issues, womanism, and race. But, the problematic of this short story is Armand’s pride overpowering the love he has for his wife Desiree. His problem was that he had too much pride specifically for his family name. He felt like everything advanced around his name and him. Desiree did have love for Armand and thought he felt the same but seemingly Armand only cared about viewing off his family and power. This problem can be solved by understanding that a family name is not what constantly makes us who we are. It is up to us to develop better than just a name that is the proudest.
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