Desiree’s Baby – Summary

Anyone can point out many kinds of discrimination in their daily lives such as gender discrimination at their workplace, ethnic discrimination in foreign countries, and age discrimination. The book titled Desiree’s Baby, was based on the generation in the 1850s where great hatred was demonstrated towards negroes, mulattos, and whites. Even some states have laws on illegal racial intermarriage, and fourteen of the Southern states approved “one-drop rule,” which states that people who have a black ancestor must be classified as slaves.Readers are easily aware of the darkness of racial divide, and how it could threaten people’s normal happy lives.

While reading the book, readers can be observed throughout the generations by Desiree’s unique but tragic entire life. She has an unknown background, marriage with wealthy white, and dismissed with her quadroon boy. The story starts with Madame Valmonde driving to L’Abri to see her daughter and baby. She laughs because it seems just yesterday that Desiree was a foundling, and Madame Valmonde adopted her as sent to her by God’s a gift because she could not have her own baby.

Desiree has grown as a beautiful girl that drew Armand Ayubingy to love her. He saw her at the stone pillar where she was found her eighteen years ago and immediately fell in love with her. I believe the author suggests a clue that the same place as a coincidence. Armand and Desiree were married ignoring Desiree’s origin.

They later had a boy that Armand was extremely proud of. He did not punish his slaves after the baby was born. The marriage and the baby made him soft and relaxed. However, the author describes the importance of skin color when he says “The new yellow woman sat beside a window fanning herself “(Chopin 104).Readers can easily notice the author’s feelings about skin color. When the baby about three months old, Desiree felts that something bad was going to happen that “an air of mystery among the blacks; unexpected visits from far-off neighbors who could hardly account for their coming” (Chopin 104).

This could indicate the tragedy of Desiree’s life, and after the unexpected visits Armand’s manner changed. She eventually realized that the baby is not white, and it means they could not have relationship with different skin colors.The book refers that Armand Aubingy repudiate his wife and baby because he could not be a different skin color’s husband and father. The author also describes that “Young Ayubingy’s rule was a strict one, too, and under it his negroes had forgotten how to be gay, as they had been during the old master’s easy-going and indulgent lifetime” (Chopin 103, 104). At the end of the story, it was surprising that he also knew he had black ancestry and was burning all the past’s evidences.

Chopin was attempting to project through the story that people with different environments, changed eras, and various laws, can make them live as different people.I am considering the historical context of this story and argument valid because the generation and the character of Armand should keep his family’s tradition. I believe that skin color is just inherited and it can not be classified by levels of people and named such as negroes, mulattos, and whites. People living in the contemporary world know that any discrimination can not be accepted any place in the world. Desiree’s Baby shows people the unfairness, darkness, and disharmony of racial discrimination.