There is a frightening modern relevance to Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby" and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper": Both these short stories point to the power that people can wield over others when they control the perception of reality, a power that is evinced in contemporary society, as well, on a larger scale as politicos interpret events and conditions and the mainstream media report what is in compliance with this contemporary wisdom.
Both Desiree and the wife/mother of Gilman's story are held as psychological hostages in the houses in which they dwell. In Desiree's situation it is sociological circumstances which limit, define. and destroy her--
...a strange, an awful change in her husband's manner [occurred], which she dared not ask him to explain. When he spoke to her, it was with averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out.
One day she holds their baby and begs her husband to look at him. "Tell me what it means!" she cried despairingly.
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