Désirée's Baby Literary Analysis

1436 Words 6 Pages
Kate Chopin’s writing style truly captured the essence of the late 1800s, especially the story “Désirée’s Baby,” which follows the motherhood of a woman named Désirée in Southern Louisiana. Throughout the story, the author shows strong emotion with how she wrote and portrayed the scenes. Chopin showcases themes such as feminism and gender bias in a way, typically uncommon for the era in which she wrote, that intrigues her readers with the use of irony, imagery and foreshadowing to prove and intensify the idea that Désirée and Armand both experienced distinctly different types of love, stereotypical of their genders during this time period. The first and most crucial point to the story is Désirée. She is the main protagonist, which is also …show more content…
With also being a woman comes the inevitable judgement with every move that is taken. Throughout the story, Désirée constantly is denied or ignored based off her answers towards questions or other statements like when she tried to defend herself against Armand’s accusations of her race. “‘[It means] that the child is not white; it means that you are not white” (Chopin 3). A quick conception of all that this accusation meant for her nerved her with unwanted courage to deny it. “It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair,”seizing his wrist. “Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand,” she laughed hysterically” (Chopin 3). Because she is a woman, Armand leaves her with the responsibilities with the baby throughout the entire story. Gender norms were, as through the story and common knowledge, very maintained in daily American life, so it was Désirée’s “liability” to take care of their child. She did not do much as she idled with her child, day by day, doing the same thing which can make a person become irritable. Armand does not acknowledge this so, this could also influence her sudden fluctuating moods easily …show more content…
This is quite degrading on her which led her to feel lost and confused whenever Armand would ignore her and avoid her at all costs as shown on page 3 when she calls out to Armand. “‘Armand,’ she called to him, in a voice which must have stabbed him, if he was human. But he did not notice. “Armand,” she said again. Then she rose and tottered towards him. “Armand,” she panted once more, clutching his arm, “look at our child. What does it mean? Tell me.” He coldly but gently loosened her fingers from about his arm and thrust the hand away from him” (Chopin). The reaction shown was stemmed from the baby being mixed, which was a major disadvantage during the late 1800s. The child is the source of all of their problems. Désirée, as a woman, takes on a nurturing side due to it being her child and wanting to love and protect the baby. Armand, the male, takes on a defensive side due to a few reasons. One could be that the child was African American, which he would not dare say he owned due to the mistreatment of them during the time period. Secondly, the child absorbs all of Désirée’s time so he can’t even see his wife without the baby, which could lead to jealousy issues and cause him to become filled with rage or greed. Both of them feel differently towards the child based on gender roles, which is normal due to human nature.

Related Documents