Inferences Lead to Tragedy: Irony that Ruins in Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby

Good Essays

Kate Chopin utilizes irony in “Desiree’s Baby” to warn people of the dangers of racism and how it can victimize not only the hated race, but also the one who is racist. “Desiree’s Baby” is a tale about a young slave owner, Armand, with a well-respected name in Louisiana. He marries an adopted woman named Desiree and once they have their child, he notices that the baby has black features. He assumes that since he does not know his wife’s racial background that his wife must have some sort of black heritage, but it is his “inferences [that] lead to tragedy." Armand did not want his wife to be around because of her assumed race, so she took the baby and left. Months later when Armand is burning Desiree and the baby’s possessions, he …show more content…

When Madame Valmonde visited her daughter and grandson a month after he was born, she notices something strange about the child and cannot take her eyes off him. She takes him into the sunlight for better examination and “scan[s] the baby narrowly, then looked as searchingly at Zandrine,” She later comments that he has changed. She does not say how he has changed, but she is noticing that the baby was much lighter in color when he was born, and has become darker since the last time she saw him. Shecontinued on asking Desiree “What does Armand say?” She wanted to be sure that Armand had not noticed that the baby was black, but Desiree had no idea.Later, when Desiree is trying to convince her husband that she is not of black descent, she says, “It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair…Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand.” One could read these parts of the story and guess what is going to happen in the end. Also throughout the story, Monsieur and Madame Valmonde show their unconditional love for their daughter and grandson. In the beginning, Monsieur Valmonde finds Desiree abandoned on his doorstep. The Valmondes take her in without a question. Throughout the years, Desiree is shown sacrificial love by her parents. When Desiree frantically mails her mom questioning her race, her mom sent a supportive

Get Access