Désirée's Baby Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

Désirée's Baby book cover
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What is a character analysis of Desiree in "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin?

Désirée is a foundling raised by Monsieur and Madame Valmonde. By nature, she is a gentle, loving person well-suited to being a wife and mother. She adores her husband and takes pride in her child. When Armand suggests that she's African American, however, Désirée appears to suffer a kind of breakdown. Rather than live with the shame of being labeled black, she takes the child and walks off into the fields, never to return. This act underscores the essential weakness of her character, which prevents her from standing up for her rights or the rights of her child in the face of false accusations.

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A character analysis of Desiree reveals that she is a gentle and loving young woman who feels no shame nor inferiority because she was a foundling abandoned by the road when a toddler, then found, claimed, and adopted by the Valmondes. When grown into young womanhood she is as beautiful and charming as she has always been good natured and sweet of temperament. In addition, she loves easily and without judgementalism for we learn that she gives her heart to the first man who dotes upon her beauty--fortunately, he is a man her parents know well and approve of for her (perhaps wrongly, we find out).

As a young wife, Desiree exerts a peaceful and tranquil influence on the hard-hearted Armand, which induces his mean spirit to exert a gentle understanding hand with his slaves instead of a punishing and severe hand so as to escape being what he later becomes when Desiree's influence is lost to him: "the very spirit of Satan." As a young mother, she is overjoyed with her infant and even more...

(The entire section contains 600 words.)

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