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Désirée's Baby

by Kate Chopin
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In Chopin's "Désirée's Baby," how does Armand react to the birth of the baby?

Armand is extremely proud of the birth of his son. He is especially proud to have a male heir, and he treats the slaves better after the birth.

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In Chopin's "Desiree's Baby," Armand is characterized as an extremely impulsive individual.  First he falls in love with Desiree when he first sees her, marries her quickly--regardless of her mysterious heritage--, and spends an incredible amount of money on Desiree in preparation for the wedding.  Armand's reaction to his child's birth is no different.  When Desiree's mother comes to visit her daughter and the infant, she asks Desiree what Armand thinks of the child.  Desiree replies,

"Oh, Armand is the proudest father in the parish, I believe, chiefly because it is a boy, to bear his name; though he says not,—that he would have loved a girl as well."

She goes on to say that her husband has been kinder to the slaves since the baby's birth--it is almost as if he's a different man.  Chopin includes this description of Armand's reaction to the child's birth to contrast it with his behavior when he notices the darkening of the baby's skin color and acts cruelly and impulsively by expelling Desiree and his son from the plantation.

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