An Analysis of Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby

Be sure to read Chopin’s "Desiree’s Baby" very carefully.

It’s unclear whether Armand first learns about his ethnic heritage when he reads his mother’s letter (at the conclusion of the story), or if he had discovered this truth at an earlier time (before he reads the letter).

Question: Did he know or did he not know about his ancestry before the story’s conclusion? Explain your answer thoughtfully, using quoted language from the story to effectively support your answer

The Irony is an incongruity between the result of events sequence and their real outcomes. In Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby, the story ends with an ironic twist. The story took place in Louisiana in the 19th century. The child’s that brought the parents’ origin question was born of desire, a woman who was presumed white because her parentage was unknown while her husband, Armand Aubigny, was Louisianan gentry. As their child grew, his features started to resemble a black person and this raised issues that sent Desiree back home to her parents. Later in the story, Armand finds his mother’s letter saying that she had black ancestry, which raises the question whether he knew all along. I believe Armand knew his black ancestry even before finding his mother’s letter.

First, Armand began to change his behavior as the appearance of the child began to change. Before marrying Desiree, the author says “Aubigny’s rule was a strict one, too, and under it, his Negroes had forgotten how to be gay, as they had been during the old master’s easy-going and indulgent lifetime.” However, after marriage and the birth of his son, Armand was happy and softened his precise and imperious nature. Armand behavior immediately changed when Desiree asked about the child’s eyes and skin, but he coldly responded: “that the child is not white; it means that you are not white, he is not white.” Desiree denied and questioned about the contrast of their skin color saying “Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand.” However, Armand replied that his complexion resembles that LA Blanche, a slave with fair skin but was of mixed ancestry. His behavior clearly shows that Armand knew his black ancestry and immediately changed when he realized that his secret would be known through his changing child. Secondly, in the second last paragraph, Armand takes the letter from the back drawer, where he hid notes from Desiree. This drawer belonged to him, which implies that he placed the note there. Also, in this the same paragraph Chopin says; “There was the remnant of one back in the drawer from which he took them...

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