Feminism In Desiree's Baby

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Kate Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby is a short story about a girl named Desiree who is abandoned, then adopted into a wealthy family. Young Desiree soon grows up and falls in love with a slave owner, Armand,with whom she conceives a son with only to discover that her child's appearance consists of African descent characteristics. Chopin narrates the issues of oppression and loss of identity during a historical period of time through Desiree’s character. Derek Foster and Kris LeJeune's critique, focusing on the feminist standpoint of Desiree’s Baby, attempts to demonstrates how Desiree’s act to flee into the bayou is her first accomplishment of independence.
Desiree’s Baby is a short story written in the late 1800’s encompassing the issues of
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Foster and LeJeune’s critique discloses the idea that Desiree’s flee into the bayou is her first act of independence since she had been with Armand. “Chopin presents Desiree-as a character- illustrated how the human spirit often suffers from powerlessness.” (Short Story Criticism, vol.171 Foster and LeJeune,pg 155) From the time that Desiree and Armand tied the knot, she was no longer her own person, but solely Armands property. “Armand never calls Desiree by name; thus , he never affords her a title.” (Short Story Criticism, vol.171 Foster and LeJeune,pg 155) This emphasizes the Desiree’s identity becomes lost within the male's identity even moreso once Desiree bares Armand’s child which shows African American characteristics. The idea of Armand’s child not being purely white, altered Armand’s character towards Desiree which left Desiree with no choice other than to leave his side with her child. “As Chopin narrates: She [Desiree] disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou: and she did not come back again.” ( Short Story Criticism, vol.171 Foster and LeJeune,pg 157) Foster and LeJeune stated “It is by fleeing that she avoids such loss when she escapes to the “reeds and willows”.” ( Short Story Criticism, vol.171 Foster and Jeune,pg 157) This insinuates that Desiree’s choice to leave, was a her choice to disembark her state of oppression and embark on her new life independence from
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