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Desiree's Baby

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on 12 November 2014

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Transcript of Desiree's Baby

Kate Chopin
Background info
Summary
Desiree is the adopted child of Monsieur and Madame Valmonde. The story is set in Louisiana in the late 1800's. She was discovered by the wealthy Monsieur Valmonde near his gates. When Desiree is older she was courted by a boy from another wealthy family named Armand. They marry and have a child. As the child grows it is discovered that it has the same color skin as a slave boy who is one quarter african. Because of Desiree's unknown background Armand assumes it is her that has african history and asks her to leave. Desiree, brokenhearted, leaves with the child and is never to be seen again.
Annotation
Desiree's Baby
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, February 8th 1850

Given name is Katherine O'Flaherty

Married Oscar Chopin

Husband died, mother died

Literary career bagan.
Began writing novels but they were criticized harshly

She got discouraged so she switched to short stories

Her pieces are more appreciated today than they were in her time

Considered one of the first feminist authors of the 20th century
Some famous pieces of work:
The Awakening
The Storm
Desiree's Baby
The Story Of An Hour
Influences in her writing :
Setting
Set in Louisiana in the late 1800's.
The time is evident because of the names and language used in the story.
We know its set in Louisiana because its stated in the story and the french-english background.
Characters
Plot Intro
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action
Conclusion
Point of View
Symbolism
Atmosphere
Conflict
Theme
Persuasive Techniques
Madame Valmonde
Monseuir Valmonde
Desiree
Armand
Main characters
Minor characters
Zandrine
Negrillon
The "yellow nurse"
Desiree and Armand, a married couple are living together with a child. Things are good. When the baby turns three months old things begin to change with Armand, He gets more irritable.
Desiree finds out her child is not of pure white background. It is a quarter black.
Armand rejects Desiree and the baby, then Desiree and the baby walk into the woods and are never seen again.
Armand burn all reminders of Desiree and the baby, but in the fire there is a letter revealing that he is the one that is of mixed race.
3rd person limited
Armand was similar to a typical man of the time. He was racist and he believed race was more important than anything else, even the love for his wife and child.
Man vs society; at the time racism was a normal thing.

Man vs self; Desiree had to face the hard truth that her baby was not of pure white background
"The yellow nurse"; the author uses this symbolism to introduce the idea of a mixed race character in the story.
Madame Valmonde goes to see Desiree and her baby, she is reminiscing when Desiree was once a baby.
The atmosphere at the beginning is happy and cheerful, Desiree and Armand are a newly wed couple and new parents.

Towards the end the atmosphere is more serious and makes the reader question the values of some of the characters.
Pathos; the author draws you into the story and makes you works with your emotions towards Desiree near the end of the story.

"Desiree was miserable enough to die." This may be a hyperbole because most of the time, people are not miserable enough to actually die. In this case, she may have felt such strong emotions to be ready for death.
The narrator cannot see into all characters minds
Seminar
What are your thoughts on this?
How has racism changed over the years?
How does this relate to Desiree's Baby?
By: Amelia, Zili, Noah and Tom
Work Cited List:
The Kate Chopin International Society:
http://www.katechopin.org/



Biography of Kate Chopin: By Neal Wyatt
http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/hour/katebio.html
Full transcript