A Comparison of Status and Role in Society in “Desiree`S Baby” and “a Girl Called Apple”

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As adulthood is reached it is important to have a good reputation as one`s social status represents them. Hanan Al-Shaykh`s A Girl Called Apple, a story of an oasis girl who refuses to put up the flag in order to find a groom, and Kate Chopin`s Desiree`s Baby, a story of a couple in Louisiana that separate because of their races, are two stories in which status and role in society impacts the choices made by the characters. Everyone wants to have a high reputation and be powerful as they will be more privileged and respected. The theme of social status causes the conflict in both these stories. The theme is brought out through the characters, in this case, Apple and Armand. Both the stories are narrated in third person and the plots are…show more content…
She finally has the courage to put the flag up; however it is indicated that it is too late for her to find a groom, “She went downstairs and, sighing, sat down to await a knock at the door.” (AGCA) Unlike in A Girl Called Apple, the protagonist of Desiree`s Baby, Desiree, does not regret, but Armand does. After Desiree leaves, Armand finds a letter in the drawer from his mother addressed to his father saying, “[…]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.” (DB, L.147-149) As Armand accused Desiree of being partially black and chased her away fearing society`s opinion, but in the end he discovers that it is him that is partially black. However, it is different as there is hope that Apple will find a groom even though it is strongly suggested she doesn`t. On the other hand, Armand realizing the truth is something he would want to keep as a secret forever, so there are no chances that he will go after Desiree and the child. He can only regret and feel guilty. The theme of social status plays a major role on decisions made by the characters. Social status does not only build up the characters and reveal who they actually are but it also builds up the plot. Al-Shaykh and Chopin`s effectively built up stories with the theme of reputation and social status as the backbone. Even though

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