Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

“Hating to the story, Armand treats his

“Hating people
because of their color is wrong and it doesn’t matter which color does the
hating. It’s just plain wrong.” — Muhammad Ali

One widespread view in the nineteenth
century was that blacks were “subhuman” and they were inferior to whites.
“Desiree’s Baby”, a short story written by Kate Chopin, reveals that the racism
is the cause of unfair treatment of blacks and family conflict. This story is
about an adopted girl called Desiree marries a landowner, Armand. They had a
happy marriage until their baby was born. Armand found his son was not pure
white and deemed that his wife belonged to a lower race. Ironically, Armand discovers
that he is the person of mixed racial heritage after he rejects Desiree and their
baby. In the story, Armand abuses the slaves, sexually exploits the female
slave La Blanche, and abandons his wife and son due to their race.

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According to the
story, Armand treats his slaves unfairly due to their
skin color. “Young Aubigny’s rule was a strict one… his Negroes had forgotten
how to be gay as they had
been” (Chopin). Armand’s slaves do not have any human rights
and freedom. They have
to work day and night, serve their masters carefully and have no time to relax.
Their lives are miserable and painful. Moreover, when Armand notices that his
baby is not pure white, he vents his anger on those innocent slaves – “the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take
hold of him in his dealings with the slaves” (Chopin). This mistreatment
from Armand, therefore, is caused by his racial prejudice.

Furthermore, the author implies that Armand has the
sexual relationship with La Blanche, one of Armand’s slaves, but is not responsible
to her due to her race. When Desiree chats with her mother, she mentions that
Armand has visited the female slave’s cabin and spent the night. “‘And the way
he cries,’ went on Desiree, ‘is deafening. Armand heard him the other day as
far away as La Blanche’s cabin'” (Chopin). Moreover. Armand has affair with the
slave is proved from the other side that he probably is the father of La
Blanche’s quadroon boy. “She looked from her child to the boy who stood beside
him, and back again, over and over. ‘Ah!’ It was a cry that she could not help”
(Chopin). Desiree at that time not only finds out that her child has the mixed
race but also recognizes that the baby and the quadroon boy both look like
Armand. Although La Blanche has the relationship with Armand, she and her son
are still enslaved. “One of La Blanche’s little quadroon
boys–half naked too–stood fanning the child slowly with a fan of peacock
feathers” (Chopin). Thus, the unfair
treatment that La Blanche and her child suffered is due to Armand’s racial discrimination.      

At the end of
the story, racism is the cause of Armand’s rejection of Desiree and his son. Armand
has loved Desiree and their child. Nevertheless, his love could not compare
with the ancestry which he took seriously. “Moreover, he no longer loved her, owing to the unconscious
injury she had brought upon his home and his name” (Chopin). Armand with the
incorrigible racial belief could not tolerate the fact that his wife and child are
not as white as him. In the story, Armand “absented himself from home; and when
there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse” (Chopin). He
neglects his wife who just gave birth to his child
and the newly born baby. Furthermore, Armand abandons his wife and son to protect his
pure blood and family honor. “‘Shall I go, Armand?’… ‘Yes, go.’ ‘Do you want
me to go?’ ‘Yes, I want you to go'” (Chopin). Desiree and the baby became the
victims of racism and they are punished because of their skin color.

In conclusion, racism
is the cause of depression and unfair treatment. Armand, on account of his
racial prejudice, enslaves the blacks strictly, be irresponsible to the slave
that he has sexual relation with, and rejects his wife and son cruelly. Many conflicts
occur in the society are due to the racism. To prevent racism, people should
respect each other, understand other race’s culture, and develop equality so
that the world will become more harmonious and peaceful.


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