Symbolism In Desiree's Baby, By Kate Chopin

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The mystery of the unknown appears in Gothic Literature almost everywhere, but while leaving the reader guessing, hints are included to guide an inference. In Kate Chopin's “Desiree's Baby” she explores the ideas of racism and the idea that women are under men and are the cause of all problems, she also includes symbolism to portray a deeper meaning which is present in her other works. Although it is not blatantly said in the story, it can be inferred that Desiree killed herself and her baby near the end of the story. There is a sense of uncertainty yet prominent foreshadowing that this was going to happen once Desiree has the realization that her baby is not fully white, and becoming dejected. This is inferred by the inclusion of quotes…show more content…
This symbol has been used in many stories including Kate Chopin's “The Awakening” where she uses water as a symbol of finding freedom and being awoken. Water as a symbol has a deeper meaning of finding oneself and being free. It is not just water, it guides characters and inspires them to either make a change or it sets them free from their worries. Being that Desiree was troubled by the new weight put upon her by the assumption of her husband, she feels as if she cannot live being so unhappy. The Bayou which is an area of water being semi-swamp like can be seen as a place of freedom for Desiree. Since she chose not to take the road to her mothers and instead took the less traveled path, it can be inferred that she wanted to be set free and thought she would never be free even after she left her husband's plantation. This plays into leading the reader to infer that Desiree has killed herself and her child. Kate Chopin also expresses the symbol of clothing by dressing Desiree in pure white, characterizing her as pure and someone who can do no wrong. The dress of Desiree plays into the foreshadowing that she is not the one to blame. White is seen as a color of purity. Desiree is described as wearing “soft white muslins and laces,” both playing into purity and femininity (Chopin 329).
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