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Plot in Desiree's Baby
Plot Examples in Desiree's Baby:
"belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.”..." See in text (Désirée's Baby)
In the letter that Armand reads from his mother, she writes that he “belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.” This reveals that it is actually Armand who is part-black, not Desiree. This dramatic plot twist makes the ending of the story, and the story itself, all the more ironic and devastating. Furthermore, Armand’s fate is extremely ironic here. He has treated his slaves with violence and cruelty based on the color of their skin, and now he must face the fact that he is actually part African American himself.
"and she did not come back again..." See in text (Désirée's Baby)
While not overtly stated, we can infer from the ominous language that Desiree chooses to kill herself and her child. Notice that the bayou is described as “deep” and “sluggish,” and that Chopin ends the same sentence by stating that “she did not come back again.” This might indicate a kind of cause and effect: the bayou is deep, therefore, she does not return.
"“Ah!” It was a cry that she could not help..." See in text (Désirée's Baby)
As Desiree stares at her baby and La Blanche’s boy, she finally comes to a realization about what has been bothering her. Readers will recall Desiree’s mother’s initial cry of “This is not the baby!” and deduce that Desiree’s baby has something in common with La Blanche’s boy. The idea that her son may have black heritage causes her to cry out. Despite the difficulties that Desiree faces in this society as a woman, even she is not very tolerant or open-minded when it comes to matters of race.
"“This is not the baby!”..." See in text (Désirée's Baby)
At this point in the story, it is still unclear as to why Madame Valmonde reacts this way at the sight of the baby. We can infer from context however, that she is undoubtedly astonished at the baby’s appearance, and seems to think that the baby looks somehow different from Desiree. Desiree, however, only understands her mother’s cry as a sign of the child’s growth since his birth.
"What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana?..." See in text (Désirée's Baby)
Armand’s hasty dismissal of Monsieur Valmonde’s cautions seems to be driven primarily by his overwhelming passion for Desiree, rather than his true lack of concern about her origins.
"Coton Mais..." See in text (Désirée's Baby)
The narrator relays the rumor that baby Desiree was left on a wagon that was then placed on a ferry to cross some body of water. From this context, we can infer that “Coton Mais” is the name of the person who owns or operates the ferry.