Analysis mother’s race from Armand, and the people
Analysis of Desiree’s Baby The short story, “Desiree’s Baby,” written by Kate Chopin, was set in south of America at a time where African Americans were inferior to whites and often worked as slaves. This story explores pride, social status and most importantly race versus love. The story takes an unexpected turn when Armand, Desiree’s husband, becomes aware that his son is not white “that the child is not white; it means that you are not white. ” Even true love and one’s own flesh and blood cannot defeat a man’s pride and importance of social status.The story begins with Madame Valmonde going to visit her daughter “Desiree had been sent to her by a beneficent providence to be the child of her affection, seeing that she was without child of flesh.
” To the Valmonde family race was not as important as it was for Armand. The Valmonde family accepted a “nameless” child to their family without questioning the possibility that the child could be a “race that is cursed with slavery. ” Armand Aubigny notices Desiree’s beauty and falls in love “that was the way all the Aubignys fell in love, as it struck by a pistol shot. This statement refers to old Monsieur Aubigny falling in love regardless of race.
They sacrificed and lived in France, where bi-racial marriages were accepted, in order to conceal the mother’s race from Armand, and the people of Louisiana “I thank God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother…belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery. ” His father accepted his wife to be “cursed with the brand of slavery. ” Armand, born and raised around his mother was not as “easy-going” and did not allow his “negroes” to be “gay” like old Monsieur Aubigny.Did he not know that he too was “cursed with the brand of slavery? ” Since this is a very short story, the author does not give much information regarding Armand’s knowledge of his race. One can believe that he did know the truth about his mother, and is rebelling. His pride and social status could not allow him to accept the truth. When he first noticed Desiree and was “struck by a pistol” the author writes “what did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana.
Armand knew the truth about his race and accepted to give a “nameless” girl the proudest name in Louisiana. Then we see a contrast in Armand’s emotions and his way of expressing them. Desiree tells her mom how “Armand is the proudest father in the parish” and that “he hasn’t punished one of them” to “an awful change in her husband’s manner” and “the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves. ” Armand was very proud and happy with his life; however he could not accept not having a “white” baby.He believed that having a black child would be a disgrace to his family.
He spoke to his wife with “averted eyes” and “he absented himself from home…avoided her presence and that of her child. ” Madame Valmonde states, “This is not the baby! ” For months’ he did not see his child as “not white” until “an unexpected visits from far-off neighbor” which may have opened up his eyes to realize that the baby is not white. He was so in love with Desiree and his child that he was blinded. Also throughout the story Armand never accused Desiree of cheating.
This also supports the fact that he had knowledge of his race and due to his pride he could not accept anything but a white child. During the bonfire Armand was burning “little scribblings” that Desiree had sent him from his drawer and finds an old letter from his mother “But above all…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. Armand had the letter in his drawer, and it was time to burn the truth to maintain his social status. Racism was very deeply rooted at the time of the story, Armand’s mother tried to protect her son from the truth, which may be the cause of the “unconscious injury. ” Hiding such a deep secret or not teaching her son to appreciate and love others regardless of their differences, deeply hurt her only son and determined the fate of Desiree and her grandson son.
Armand allowed bigotry; egotism and most importantly social status to dictate his life.