Sunday, October 13, 2019

Racial, Social, and Symbolic Elements in Desirees Baby by Kate Chopin

When I think about starting over, I am often reminded of Armand in the story of â€Å"Desiree Baby†. Armand, the protagonist in the story built a bonfire in the efforts of trying to erase away the memory of his wife Desiree, and his son. Armand’s bonfire symbolizes Armand wanting to start over and forget his past. Throughout the short story many elements of symbolism was used to convey a central message those include discussing symbols of racism, social class distinction, and the symbolic elements involving the difference between the gender roles. In â€Å"Desiree Baby†, author, Chopin emphasizes racism by selecting certain words to symbolize the association between light and darkness, and the slaves on the plantation. The association between light and darkness played a major role in the outcome of this story. Desiree the wife of Armand was always associated with things of lightness. After Desiree was recovering from just given birth to their son she laid on the couch in her â€Å"soft white muslins and lace† (Valencia Community College). When Desiree confronts her husband about the race of their child Desiree skin pigmentation is whiter than her husbands. Desiree shows Armand the letter from Valmonde, the book says she was resembled a stone image white and motionless. In October when Desiree was abandoned Armand she left still wearing the white thin garment and slippers. Armand and the baby were always associated with darkness throughout the story. Armand skin complexion was darker than his wife’s. The story also describes Armand face as being dark and handsome. The baby association with darkness came when the baby was lying across Desiree mahogany bed. Mahogany is some dark brown colored wood. Another comparison of the chi... ...haracter, Zandrine, helps add on to the story and the progression of Armand’s developing character. Leading towards the end of the story, Armand builds a bonfire on the pyre. The bonfire symbolized Armand getting rid of all his memories of his wife and child. Throughout this paper I have shared Chopin’s use of symbolic elements by discussing symbols of racism, social class distinction, and the symbolic elements involving the difference between the gender roles. At the end of the story Armand reads a letter from his mom to his father. Armand finds out that his mother is from the African descent after; he has lost his marriage and family. Works Cited Cummings, Michael. "Cummings Study Guide." Cummings Study Guide. Michael Cummings, 2010. Web. 25 Mar 2011. "Desiree Baby." Valencia Community College. Valencia Community College, n.d. Web. 26 Mar 2011.

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