Foreshadowing In Desiree’s Baby

Desiree’s Baby is a short story written by Kate Chopin. The story is set in the late 1800s in Louisiana. Desiree is a young woman who married a wealthy man named Armand Aubigny. Desiree gave birth to a baby boy, but Armand was not happy with the child because he was black.

Armand became increasingly abusive towards Desiree and eventually forced her to leave their home with the baby. Desiree took refuge in her mother’s home, but she and her child were not welcomed there. Desiree eventually died in childbirth, and her baby was sent away to be raised by another family.

The story of Desiree’s Baby is full of foreshadowing. For example, early in the story, Desiree finds a black baby abandoned in the woods. She takes the child home and raises him as her own. This foreshadows the fact that Desiree’s own child will also be black. Additionally, Armand is shown to be very interested in Desiree’s origins. He asks her about her family and where she came from. This foreshadows the fact that Armand will ultimately reject Desiree because she is not of pure white heritage.

In “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin employs foreshadowing, symbolism, and dramatic irony to show how a person’s personality can be sadly conditioned by the opinions of others. Chopin starts her tale with,”When Monsieur rode through the gateway of Valmonde on his horseback, he discovered she was lying asleep in the shadow of the huge stone pillar,” (Chopin 240).

Desiree was not born into wealth and royalty like her husband, Armand Aubigny. Desiree was found by Armand’s father, Monsieur Aubigny, in the fields where she was sleeping. Because Desiree did not have a wealthy background, people questioned whether she was good enough for Armand. Desiree’s mother died when she was very young, and her father abandoned her soon after.

Desiree did not have anyone to teach her about being ladylike or how to act properly in high society. Even though Desiree eventually learned how to be a proper lady through observation, some members of high society still believed that she was not good enough for Armand because of her lack of wealth and social status.

The use of foreshadowing in this piece by Frédéric Chopin is evident. Chopin is dropping hints about racism and people of color throughout the narrative. This exemplifies how odd the circumstances were for a newborn to be found beneath a stone pillar’s shade. The Valmondes had no idea what had happened to the kid, but they felt something was amiss regardless as a southern white family.

Desiree and her family only saw what they wanted to see, which was a happy life for all. Desiree’s baby being black was a complete shock to the family, because it did not match what they wanted for their future.

This story is about a mother’s love for her child , no matter what the circumstances are. Desiree does not care if her baby is black, she just wants to protect him from a cruel world. Even though she knows that her husband will never accept their child, she still tries to make the best of the situation. In the end, Desiree’s baby is taken away from her and she is left with nothing. The foreshadowing in this story helped to create a sense of dread and suspense, leading up to the tragic ending.

Victorian gender roles were quite strict, and there was little room for interpretation. Both men and women had defined duties in society, with very few genders stepping out of line at the social hierarchy. The sex and color of a person determined his or her roles. Kate Chopin depicts these roles superbly in Desiree’s Baby.

Desiree is a perfect example of a victim because she is a woman, and therefore does not have the power to control her own life. Armand is also a victim, but he is a man, and so he has more power than Desiree. Although Desiree is technically Armand’s victim, he still tries to control her in any way that he can.

Foreshadowing is used throughout Desiree’s Baby to hint at the ending of the story. It is first used when Desiree holds her newborn baby and notices that it is very dark skinned. The second instance of foreshadowing occurs when Armand becomes increasingly distant from Desiree and starts to treat her coldly. The final instance of foreshadowing is when Armand burns all of Desiree’s letters and tells her to leave. All of these instances hint at the fact that Armand is black, and therefore so is their baby.

The theme of Desiree’s Baby is that societal norms can be incredibly damaging. Desiree and Armand both suffer because they do not conform to the gender roles that are expected of them. If they had just accepted their respective roles, then they would have been much happier. However, they both tried to step outside of their prescribed roles and paid the price for it.

In Desiree’s Baby, the short fiction tale by Kate Chopin, the author uses many motifs, symbols, and imagery to express gender stereotypes and racial roles for both men and women in the 1800s through the narrative of an adopted mother named Desiree who has no known lineage and her proud husband Armand. Among Chopin’s most effective literary devices for conveying her message about these clearly defined societal roles are color symbolism and imagery.

For example, when Desiree first meets Armand in the beginning of the story, she is described as wearing a “white muslin frock.” This could be interpreted to symbolize her purity and innocence, which is significant because it foreshadows the events that will take place later in the story regarding Desiree’s baby not being white. In addition, color imagery is used to describe Desiree’s change in appearance after having her baby.

It states, “There was no longer any trace of the roundness of youth in Desiree’s figure; it had grown angular and hard. Her soft, rosy lips had taken on a severe line…the fresh bloom had gone from her cheeks… Desiree no longer looked like a person who dreamed.” The author is uses color imagery to again foreshadow Desiree’s baby not being white, but also Desiree’s change in demeanor and how she is now seen by Armand and the rest of society.

The use of symbolism and imagery allows readers to get a better understanding of Desiree’s Baby, and Kate Chopin’s message about gender assumptions and racial roles in society. These literary devices are important because they help convey the idea that even though Desiree may have changed on the outside, she is still the same person on the inside.

In addition, they also allow readers to see how Armand goes from loving Desiree unconditionally to despising her because she is not the same person he fell in love with. Desiree’s Baby is a story that is still relevant today, and the use of symbolism and imagery allows readers to understand Kate Chopin’s message in a more clear and concise way.

Leave a Comment