Essay about Miscegenation in “Desiree’s Baby”

652 Words Sep 17th, 2011 3 Pages
Miscegenation in “Desiree’s Baby” In “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin centers on race and miscegenation in the Creoles of Louisiana during the days when slavery was legal. Chopin brings together two characters, Armand and Desiree who are completely different. Armand is a cruel slave owner who comes from “one of the oldest and proudest families in Louisiana,” and Desiree is adopted and doesn’t know her biological ancestry. The two marry and have a son whose skin turns dark after three months. Chopin shows how human beings are valued through skin color, and she shows that interracial marriages and interbreeding are not acceptable. In the story, Chopin uses three main characters, Armand, Desiree and the baby to show that love and …show more content…
At the end of the story, Armand finds a bundle of love letters and discovers one that was written from his mother to his father. “He reads it. She was thanking God for the blessing of her husband’s love: --But above all, she wrote, night and day. 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.” Armand discovers the truth that it is he who has the Negro blood in him and not Desiree. Armand’s father was not the racist that Armand is. His father married a Negro woman and had a child of mixed blood, Armand. His parents raised him in Paris where miscegenation was not a great issue as in the South. And although his mother had Negro blood in her and was too dark to pass for white, they could not live openly as a mixed couple in the States. And since nobody in Louisiana knows about Armand’s mother, it is easy to assume Armand is white. Although Armand’s skin is dark, he is still able to become a cruel slave owner who exercises superiority over any body he thinks is beneath him. When Armand discovers that his child has Negro blood, he begins to treat Desiree as a possession just as his slaves and he no longer wants to treat her as his wife. Armand could never become his father’s equal and love Desiree unconditionally as his father loved his mother in

More about Essay about Miscegenation in “Desiree’s Baby”

Open Document