A Review of "Desiree's Baby"

Essay add: 30-09-2015, 15:39   /   Views: 570
A Review of "Desiree's Baby"

Desiree’s Baby was perhaps one of the best short stories I have ever read. It started out slow. I wondered where the story line was going. Then it reaches out and catches your attention.

The story begins with the narrator speaking of Desiree, and how she was found lying asleep, next to the property entrance. It was apparent she was abandoned, there were assumptions of whom may of possibly left the small infant child. The story line takes place in Louisiana. During the particular time era, and in this region, large plantations were very common; slavery had yet to be abolished. The family who found Desiree where plantation owners and presumed wealthy. The name of the great plantation is Valmonde. Its namesake comes from the name of the owners. One particular point to recognize and remember is the narrator states that the “Madame” believes the child to be essentially a gift. Make note that he says she was without child of the flesh. This is important to remember because there are many assumptions at the end of the story.

When Desiree is 18 a man named Armand Aubigny realizes he is perhaps in love with her deeply. I thought it was strange that this happened so suddenly because it is said he knew her since he was eight years old. Something I noticed that it took me a second reading was, that he lived in France and his mother also died there before he came home.

A point definitely to be remembered. The story talks that perhaps she never even came to America, because she “loved her own land too well ever to leave it”.

The two soon marry and their plantation is said to have once been a beautiful place, however it is not so pretty currently. It also mentions how all the slaves whom worked for Armands father were happy yet under Armands strict rule things were not so pleasant. Another key point is to take note of how he treats his slaves.

Desiree has a baby boy, it mentions how her mother comes to visit and she takes notice to how the baby has grown since her last visit, I like how the writer slips in and undetected word that again took me a second reading to catch, “changed”. Desiree just continues to go on and on about how in love and happy the two are together, especially with their new child. When the narrator describes Armand and his appearance, I realized she would speak of his dark complexion.

The story becomes even more captivating when out of the blue Armand becomes mean and is just grumpy all the time and is no longer showing any affection. I liked how it speaks of her alone in the room with the baby and a young slave she yells out and comes to a “conclusion” and at about the same moment her husband walks in and she confronts him. She keeps telling him to “look at our child…what does it mean?” I knew what she was thinking at this point. She kept asking him over and over. She began screaming at him to look at her arms, her skin, her eyes, she was whiter than he. She writes a letter to her mother and tells her of what occurs she writes in her letter everyone is telling her she is not white, I personally believe that was an assumption of her own, because he has never spoke to her at all. She replies back to her and requests her to come home. She informs Armand of the suggestion and he tells her to go.

She leaves, and at this point of the story I am in shock and feel deep sorrow for Desiree. I was angry with him for being so in love and just allowing her to leave. At the end of the story it talks of how he is in the back yard with a bonfire and he is destroying all the reminders, the crib, her clothes, and letters. One letter particular was a letter written by Armands Mother to his father. It read: “night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery”. I was shocked. Originally I believed he just found that letter, and I thought what a jerk he was now look, the woman he loved is gone along with his child because of his racism. And yet how he must feel knowing he is of the same race he obviously despised. I began to imagine to myself since the story was over, what would he do now? I was bewildered. Than I again read it and out of my own amazement I realized he knew all along he was black. He was keeping it a secret, and there would be a clue and a reminder to him always if he kept his child. So he put it off on her since she knew nothing of her own background, and she would likely believe it was her own heritage. The big clue that made me believe this, what man, what white man, would never accuse his wife of adultery? He never mentions anything about it. If he did not know of his own heritage and absolutely believed himself to be white, would he not at the least inquire. He never did. I think that its bad enough to be a racist, I think it is far worse to be ashamed of your own ethnicity.

Article name: A Review of "Desiree's Baby" essay, research paper, dissertation