In Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby," race, origin, and social status play significant roles. Before Desiree marries Armand, her race had never been questioned even with her mysterious appearance as a baby at the Valmondes's estate. In fact, her adoptive father, Monsieur Valmonde is more concerned about Desiree's "obscure origin" and what that means for her social status when Armand first demonstrates an interest in marrying her. Valmonde knows that for, someone such as Armand, name and class are everything, but impulsive Armand argues that he does not care, even when
reminded that [Desiree] was nameless. What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana?
Armand's blase attitude toward Desiree's origin before the birth of their son creates a false sense of comfort for Desiree. Admittedly, she does notice her new husband's cruel treatment of the slaves on his plantation but chooses to overlook it at first. After the baby's birth and Armand's growing detachment from Desiree and the baby because of his skin tone, Armand eventually "accuses" Desiree of not being white. He knows that no one can dispute his claim because of his wife's unknown biological roots. However, when he confronts Desiree about her race and she places her hand next to his to show how much lighter her skin is than his, she ironically and subconsciously identifies what Armand is most afraid of: the truth that he is the one who is biracial and that others will find out what his roots really are.