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A FEMINIST ANALYSIS OF

KATE CHOPIN’S “DESIREE’S BABY”

Kate Chopin is one of the feminist writers whose stories are considered too ahead of her
time. Her novels and short stories are mostly about the oppression and repression of women and
their desire to be treated equally with men. In her short story, Desiree’s Baby, `the protagonist is
not the usual depressed and repressed wife who longs to be freed from her married life. In the short
story, Desiree is a woman who was completely at bliss in her married life until she had a baby.
This short story shows how women are always blamed for any incongruities her child has and how
in pure and unconditional the love a woman can give to a man who throws all that love away for
the sake of honor.

Even though she was just adopted, Desiree was admired and liked by most people because
of her beauty and charm. Nobody questioned her origin for her appearance proved that she was
one of the higher classes in the society. Her husband, Armand, charmed with her beauty, didn’t
even care for where she came from and this made Desiree confident for a happy life. However,
when she gave birth to a black baby, her husband suddenly changed his attitude towards her. At
first it wasn’t that evident but when it became obvious that the baby’s skin is black, the color of
the slaves, the husband’s love for her became faint and at last he let her leave with the baby for he
has his reputation to protect. This event shows how frail his love for Desiree is. Armand also shows
the mind set of males during that time. Because it is the way in the society, it is always the female’s
fault when things in the household go wrong. Desiree was easily accused of having the genes of a
“slave” all because her origin is unknown even when it was both her and Armand’s blood that
flows in the baby.

When she was accused of her husband to be the source of the black genes of the baby,
Desiree was in disbelief and even though she tried to deny it, in the end she accepted that maybe
it is true that what happened to the baby is her fault. When she was still denying that fact that the
black blood might have came from her, she asked her husband to tell her that it is not true. This
reflects how Desiree would always want her husband’s approval on everything. Because she loved

she lived a life revolving around her husband. In the end she accepted that it was her fault that the baby was black.him unconditionally. She would always find happiness in him and so it crushed her severely when he dismissed her and accused her. .

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