It is one of the few stories Kate Chopin sets before the war.
The secret is scandalous for its day, and its consequences run deep into the fabric of society. No one told Armand of this secret. He discovers it by chance at the end of the story, when he finds the remnants of an old letter written by his mother to his father, the significance of which, and its revelations, makes us focus on the many tragic and ironic decisions made by him during this story.
Knowing this, Armand marries an old friend who he had known since he was eight when he moved to Louisiana from France with his father after his mother had died. Others had warned Armand against marrying her, but he did not care for he was so swept away by her beauty.
What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana. Tragedy comes early in the marriage with the birth of their first child. Although no one seemed to notice at first, by the time the child was three months old, neighbors and Armand hims!
It turns out the baby is of mixed blood and because of this, he shuns his wife and the child he was so proud of only days before.
Look at my hair, it is brown and my eyes are gray, Armand you know they are gray. She writes to her adopted mother and tells her of what is happening. Placing blame on outside forces can also be a tragic and misguided reaction to events that people encounter.
Armand makes this mistake when he can see no other cause for his anguish and blames God for what he sees as a cruel injustice placed upon him. Paradoxically, it is also this arrangement that is the root of his present day problems. He thought it necessary to cleanse himself and his family name of this regretful misfortune.
It is during this highly emotionally and rash moment that Armand learns his family secret, when he finds the letter from his mother. Here the story ends, and its tragic irony comes to light. The wife and child he loved and so easily discarded to protect his family name, were innocent of his animosity and accusations.
We can only imagine the heart wrenching turmoil he must have felt at that moment. Too, was the undeniable fact that his father had overcome similar odds and accepted the love of his mother even though she was black.
The finding of this letter reveals to the reader the deeper consequences of decisions made based on prejudice and what others may think. All that Armand had done, giving up his marriage and condemning their child, burning all that reminded him of her and the baby, cursing God for his misfortune, had all come crashing in upon him!In the short story, Desiree’s Baby, written by Kate Chopin there is a sense of karma and consequences that is used in the story.
The story explores the problem of a man’s pride overcoming the love he has for his wife and race. Kate Chopin's Short Stories Summary and Analysis of "Désirée's Baby" Buy Study Guide Madame Valmondé visits L’Abri to see Désirée and her new baby, and on the way, she reminisces about when Désirée was herself a baby.
Madam Valmonde refuses that Desiree’s baby is not the kind of child that society will accept. Society cannot accept that both Augbiny and Desiree, both white can have a black offspring, the cursed race. Kate Chopin wrote the short story, ''Désirée's Baby,'' in , 27 years after slavery in America was abolished.
This story is set during the time of slavery on a Louisiana plantation, exploring the role of racism in every facet of society. Madam Valmonde refuses that Desiree’s baby is not the kind of child that society will accept. Society cannot accept that both Augbiny and Desiree, both white can have a black offspring, the cursed race.
In Désirée’s Baby by Kate Chopin we have the theme of identity, racism, gender and shame. Taken from her Bayou Folk collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after first reading the story the reader realises how important the title of the story is.