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In the exposition of Kate Chopin's story, as she prepares to visit Desiree and her baby, Madame Valmonde recalls when Desiree herself was a baby, a foundling at the plantation. She also recalls the day, eighteen years later when Desiree stood in the same spot and Armaud Aubigny drove by and fell in love with the girl,
The passion that awoke in him that day, when he saw her at the gate, swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles.
The last phrase,"like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles" leads the reader to believe that Armaud, who has known Desiree all his life, has finally realized that he loves the pretty young woman, and that nothing will prevent this love.
And, yet, there is a suggestion that this passion that so quickly "awoke" may as quickly die. For, as in Romeo and Juliet, "violent delights have violent ends" as the socially conscious Armaud who abandoned in his passion for Desiree his care for such things--"Armand looked into her eyes and did not care"--later cannot abide with having a baby who is of an inferior race.
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