Chopin's Insight Into the Future

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Chopin’s Insight into the Future Kate Chopin’s works were unusual and admired pieces of literature before their time. This is because she grew up differently than other women. Her father died when she was young and she was surrounded by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. These women were all widows and helped to instill independence into her life. Because of this independence Chopin wrote about topics that would not become issues until years later. “Désirée’s Baby” communicates the effect of American slavery, the miscegenation of the time, and lays the foundation for what was to become a major interest in her life: feminism. The effect of slavery is the first theme that Chopin embeds into “Désirée’s Baby”. Born in 1850, Chopin grew up during the Civil War. She saw first- hand what it was like to have slaves and how they were treated negligently. In this short story, Armand is a cruel slave owner who takes his anger towards Désirée and the baby out on his slaves. Chopin described Armand as having “the very spirit of Satan” when he dealt with them. He looks at his baby and sees the ancestry of a black person. To him, the baby is tainted which makes his family and marriage impure. His conclusion is based on a “race that is cursed with the brand of slavery” (66). He falls out of his passionate love just as fast as he had fallen into it, “as if struck by a pistol shot” (63), because the race he believes his wife and now baby belong to is beneath him. He sees the slaves as unequal, believes he is superior and he can do whatever he pleases because they belong to him. If Armand is superior over the slaves and he can treat them however he pleases, therefore, in his mind, the same is true for Désirée and the baby. Chopin centers “Désirée’s Baby” on the miscegenation that during the time when slavery was legal. The two main characters, Désirée and Armand,
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