Desiree Baby Essay

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Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby” introduces many themes throughout the work of literature. The most important themes in the story are race and gender. Chopin shows the necessity of power and the authority that men had over women. She shows the hatred toward blacks, which were slaves during this time. She demonstrates these themes by allowing a “white couple” conceive a black child. “Desiree’s Baby” emphasizes the problems between gender and race by showing the growth and destruction of a couple’s relationship. Chopin shows male dominance through the problems occurring before the marriage of Armand and Desiree. In the story, Armand instantly fell in love with Desiree. Soon after, issues arose about her origin. The belief was that she was left by a group of Texans purposely when she was younger (Chopin 242). In other words, no one knew were she was from or what race she was. This began to cause problems because Armand was in a rush to get married. The man who accepted Desiree as his own child asked Armand to consider that Desiree’s history was unknown. Armand responded by claiming he did not care that she was “nameless” and that her would give her one of the oldest, proudest names in Louisiana (Chopin 242). This event accentuates male supremacy. Monsiuer Valmonde, an older white male, cautioned Armand. Despite the warning, Armand did not care about what consequences could happen by marrying her. Ellen Peel states in “Semiotic Subversion in Desiree’s Baby” that he is “confident that he is a white male, and a master, he feels in control of the system” (224). As a male during this time, he thought he knew what was nest and did what he wanted despite the plea of Desiree’s father. Armand decides to show that he is in control, instead of listening to a more mature gentleman. The power that men have over women was also shown through this scene in “Desiree’s Baby.” The
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