Désirée's Baby by Kate Chopin

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In the plot of "Désirée's Baby" by Kate Chopin, what is the setting, and how does this affect the mood?

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Because the story takes place in antebellum Louisiana, the French names and background of the characters lend a special aura of remoteness, elegance, and mystery for most English-speaking readers. However, the same action could take place among Anglo-Americans in the old South. The same issue of "miscegenation," the secret history of slavery, existed everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line, regardless of the nationality—whether Anglo-Saxon, French, or other European backgrounds—of the white people.

The impression one gets of the overall setting is that of an aristocratic world recreated in America by those who settled in Louisiana. It is interesting that after the upheaval of the French Revolution, the ruling class in the New World could seemingly continue with their own ancien régime in America after the one in Europe had been destroyed (though it was partially restored in France after Napoleon's final defeat in 1815). This was true even after Louisiana had been absorbed into the...

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