Essay about Desiree's Baby

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Akhil Cherukupally Professor Shamiryan English 102 24 July 2013 Desiree: A Symbol for Victorian Woman Gender roles were very much defined in the Victorian era and there was not much room open to interpretation. Men and women both had clear roles in society and very rarely did any gender step outside that position within the social hierarchy. These roles were defined by the sex and color of a person. Kate Chopin exemplifies these roles very accurately within her story, Desiree’s Baby. In the short fiction story, Desiree’s Baby, the author Kate Chopin incorporates many motifs, symbols, and imagery to describe gender assumptions and racial roles for both men and women in the 1800s by narrating the story of an adopted mother named…show more content…
Thus, it was a great deal of importance for women to be pure and innocent before marrying a man. Desiree, though born of unknown lineage, is a representation of the pure and innocent woman of the household who holds the importance of the duties and responsibility of being a mother and a wife. Colors continue to be prevalent in this short story through descriptions of the house at Aubigny and of other people. When Desiree’s adoptive mother comes to visit, she notices and describes the roof of the house as “black like a cowl, reaching out beyond the wide galleries that encircled the yellow stuccoed house” (Chopin 242). The colors used to describe the house are not chosen out of pure randomness; it is chosen to symbolize the race of people living within the Aubigny household. In this case, both colors symbolize color of skin. Black refers to the numerous slaves Armand owns. Since these slaves are African, they are considered as people of black skin. The yellow description of the house represents that there is mixed race residing within the confines of the Aubigny household. By describing the house as yellow, Chopin is hinting that the family who own the house comes from a lineage of mixed races. The house itself is the very pride of the Aubigny name and Chopin masterfully describes it as a mixed
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