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Can someone briefly tell me what scene could follow after the last line of "Desiree's...

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readeal3 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted September 13, 2012 at 5:09 PM via web

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Can someone briefly tell me what scene could follow after the last line of "Desiree's Baby"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM (Answer #1)

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With regard to an assignment of creating a scene subsequent to a narrative, it is essential to remain within the established characterization and theme. So, a close rereading of the text of "Desiree's Baby" becomes necessary. In such a perusal, the reader will take note of such traits of Armand Aubigny as his "imperious and exacting nature" and his no longer loving Desiree "because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name."

Therefore, creating a depiction of Armand in a subsequent scene that remains true to character would involve his arrogant nature as a controlling factor in his reaction to the revelation that it is he, in fact, who is not white. Also, having had such excessive pride in his aristocratic name and its accompanying social status, Armand may well feel less regret for his treatment of Desiree than resentment against his father. His crisis of identity and knowledge that he is not what he has believed will most likely be the focus of his thoughts. Like the Vicomte in Maupassant's "A Coward," he may well suffer the same fears,

He would be sullied, branded with a mark of infamy, hounded out of society. And he would not be able to achieve that calm, that swaggering poise; he knew it, he felt it.

Armand's loss of proud identity may well shake him so much that he becomes ridden with anxiety, worrying that others may know the truth about him, fearing this truth as the reason that the neighbors "who could hardly account for their coming" appeared to look at the baby. This fear of discovery of his true origin will, then, be Armand's psychological unraveling. Thus, a scene after the last line may involve his internal conflicts that drive him to leave his home (after possibly burning it, too), or to commit suicide.

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