Racial Identity In Désirée's Baby

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Désirée's Baby is story about two people who's baby separate racial appearance come into question their own background and ultimately their decisions as it pertains to society during that time. Armond at first site loved Désirée for her beauty despite being told her background. They were happily married until Désirée had her baby, after seeing the baby he began to see Désirée as ugly. According to society the color black was deemed as ugly and anyone who was black should be considered a slave. Sense he married and had kids with a woman whom he perceived to be black, he abandoned her out of fear of losing his families name, a name in which denotes his class in society. Armand's attitude toward Désirée demonstrates fear of society's racial and…show more content…
Both Armond and a Désirée are ambiguous about their racial identity and background. Armond knowing about Désirée's past still decides that he loves her and ultimately marries her. When taking her in he is indicating that he himself does not care about her background because of her outer beauty. When the baby is born both are confused by the babies skin color as Chopin states, “ 'look at our child. What does it mean? Tell me'... 'It means, ' he answered lightly, 'that the child is not white; it means that you are not white'”(Chopin 3). Armond blames the reason why his baby's skin color is black on his wife, as he to is reforming to what society deems the norm. Women during this time are almost if not slaves to men, their names meant nothing, so to preserve Armond's family name he immediately blames his wife. Armond only caring about himself denies his love for Désirée because of the racial prejudice present throughout the south. He refuses to believe that he is the one at fault for his baby's appearance, as during this time women were the ones always at fault. He also refuses to acknowledge his own thought's about his racial background so he blames his wife. He denies his identity till the very end because he did not want to lose his social class and be condoned to a fate such as slavery. As Chopin states, “ 'But, above all,' she wrote, 'night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged…show more content…
In the story judgment of ones appearance is why society and ultimately slavery was at a stand still for a long time. It caused fear, fear of losing ones self identity, but it also caused ambiguity as one becomes unsure whether they are who they believe they are. Towards the end Désirée decides that she's not going conform to society's malevolent nature, taking her and her babies life. In that moment she goes against the nature of mankind during this time ultimately not becoming a slave for or to society. Thus, Désirée becomes the only one to not fear society's wrath and go against what was considered the social
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