Irony in Desiree's Baby
Situational irony: “Désirée’s Baby” represents an example of situational irony employed in a work of short fiction. Situational irony arises when an unexpected narrative event occurs in a way that upends the prior assumptions of the readers and the characters. In Chopin’s story, this upending happens at the end when Armand reads his mother’s note and discovers that he himself is of mixed racial origins. Neither Armand nor first-time readers predict such a twist, for it runs counter to the previously prevailing, albeit false, truth—that Désirée is partly black.