Desiree's Baby Thesis

1307 Words6 Pages
Evelyn Valle English 213, American Lit HW: Essay March 19, 2014 “’But above all,’ she wrote, ‘night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.” --Désirée’s Baby; Kate Chopin An Expected Surprise While reading many short stories, the audience often encounters twists in the story that seem to be surprising. However, this is not true for all stories as many authors foreshadow what is to come while using small details. This is true for Kate Chopin’s short story “Désirée’s Baby” where she drops hints throughout the story such that the reader is not surprised by the ending. In Kate Chopin’s…show more content…
Throughout the story, Chopin describes of Désirée while setting up a scene. For example, when Madame Valmonde, Désirée’s mother, went to visit Désirée and the baby for the first time, Chopin let the reader know that Désirée was wearing “…soft, white muslins…” (1073). Chopin goes on to describe Désirée as having “...long, silky brown hair…” (1074) as well as having gray eyes and fair skin (1075). Désirée is again described wearing a “…thin white garment…” (1076) as she leaves her home at the end of the story. In addition, as Désirée is leaving her husband Armand’s residence the sun’s rays shine upon her and “…brought a golden gleam from its [her hair’s] brown meshes…” (1076). Chopin’s constant comparison of Désirée with light make the reader infer that Désirée is of a white background and of lighter descent. In addition, Chopin clothes Désirée with white garments in order to emphasize her whiteness and the fairness of her skin. Désirée’s brown hair as well as her gray eyes also point to a white background as these characteristics were often associated with fairer skinned individuals during times of slavery as well as in 1892, the year Chopin wrote her short story. Chopin’s descriptions of Désirée make the reader question Armand’s accusation that Désirée is not completely white but rather of mixed race. This effect is amplified when the reader notices Chopin’s descriptions of

More about Desiree's Baby Thesis

Open Document