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Describe three characters from "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin

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readeal3 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted September 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM via web

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Describe three characters from "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Desiree Valmonde Aubigny is the title character in Chopin's short story, "Desiree's Baby".  Desiree does not know her family's origin as she was found on the front steps of the Valmonde Plantation.  This is important in a society that seperates social classes based on race.  As a sweet and beautiful girl she grows up happy and loved with the Valmonde's.  When Armand Aubigny sees her, it is love at first sight.  The two fall passionatly in love and get married. Desiree depends on her husband for all of her happiness.  It is because of this deep love, when he rejects her she chooses to end her life, and that of her baby, instead of living without him.

 

Armand Aubigny is a wealthy son of a plantaion owner and a neighbor to the Valmonde's.  Because of his family's name and money he is at the top of the social ladder.  Appearances are very important to him and his family, and so he looks at everything around him (his home, slaves, even Desiree) as just one of his possessions.  When he sees Desiree he falls in love with her beauty and for a short time seems to be a kinder man; however, after the birth of their son, things change.  As people begin to talk about the baby's dark skin it is revealed that the baby is of mised heritage.  Assuming this to be Desiree's fault (since she is an orphan) he kicks her and the newborn out.  However, soon he realizes that it is actually he who has mixed ancestery and not Desiree.

 

Madame Valmonde adopts the orphaned Desiree when she was found abandoned on her steps.  Madame Valmonde loves her as her own daughter and continues to stand by her even when it is (falsely) assumed that Desiree is the one with mixed ancestory. She pleads with Desiree to come back home when Armand kicks her out. Even though she is not Desiree's mother, she exibits a true, everlasting maternal love for Desiree.

 

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