Désirée's Baby | Analysis

This study guide will help you analyze the text “Désirée's Baby” by Kate Chopin. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on plot and structure, themes, the opening, foreshadowing, characterization of Armand's love, development of the characters, and setting.

Facts

Title: “Désirée's Baby”
Author: Kate Chopin
Genre: Short story
Year of Publication: 1893

Kate Chopin is an American author of short stories and novels. Her writings did not gain much popularity during her lifetime, mainly because they discuss controversial issues such as women's condition and inequality, which were still sensitive subjects at the end of the nineteenth century. She had lived in various places and had both French and Irish ancestors. After she married Oscar Chopin, she moved to Louisiana, where she learned more about slaves' culture. “Désirée's Baby” was probably inspired by her life in Louisiana.

Excerpt

Here, you can check out an excerpt from our study guide:

Appearance versus Reality

Many times, people are deceived by appearances. This happens either because they rely on stereotypes and prejudices or because they are naïve and unwilling to see beyond what is obvious. Armand clearly illustrates the type of person who considers himself superior and is hasty to assume the worst of his wife, without compelling evidence. The fact that his wife had obscure origins was enough for him to assume that she was the creole one in the family: "'It means,' he answered lightly, 'that the child is not white; it means that you are not white.'" (p. 25, ll. 12-13)

The story shows that sometimes, one is blinded and cannot see beyond their own narrow perspective. Armand’s appearance suggests that he might have black blood, but he never even took it into account. In the end, he turns to be the creole one.

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Désirée's Baby | Analysis

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