Acceptance Theme

Submitted By Kierasjones1
Words: 1166
Pages: 5

Kiera Jones
Professor Thomas
English 1101/ 5:30 TR
3 December 2012

Acceptance In the stories “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, “Mortal Immortal” by Mary Shelley and “The Birth Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the protagonist go through great miles just to be or feel accepted. Acceptance is very important to some people, causing them to go out of their way to make other people or society happy. Some people who seek acceptance turn their backs on the ones they love most, do things to gain self-confidence or even change their outer appearance just to make themselves blend in. As a result for the search of acceptance, people lose those people who love them the most and never gain the respect or acceptance that they wanted. To elaborate the point of acceptance further, in “Desiree’s Baby” Armand turns his back on Desiree and their son when he blames Desiree for the change in his complexion, which ultimately led to her flee. The change of complexion, which appeared African American, was somewhat of an imperfection in the eyes of society at the time. As their son’s complexion became darker it caused others to question the baby’s ethnicity. Also, being that Armand’s family was one of the well-known families in Louisiana, his pride wouldn’t allow him to accept his own son. Kate Chopin suggests, “When he spoke to her, it was with averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out. He absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse.” (3) Armand’s whole persona towards his wife and child changed once the people of his town started to question his son’s ethnicity. Armand became neglectful towards the two people who he loved the most, becoming conscious of what others would think of him and his family. Being that his family was well known for owning slaves of the darker race his son appeared to be, he feared not being accepted and losing the respect his family earned over the years. His hateful reaction towards his wife and child showed that he really cared what society or his peers thought of him. He had an image to protect, and if he lost that image, he wouldn’t be accepted as the same man. The people in his town would look down on his family’s name, if he didn’t turn his back on his wife and child. “Mortal Immortal” develops the point of acceptance when Winzy takes an elixir to cure his “love torture”. Winzy wanted the acceptance of a woman, Bertha, who was torn between love and wealth because of her upbringing by her adopted mother. At the time Winzy wasn’t wealthy, which was one of the main characteristics women looked for in a man at this time period. Winzy was willing to do any and everything to gain the acceptance of Bertha. “She would drive me mad with anger, and then force me to beg her pardon.” (5) He soon goes as far as taking the elixir, which his professor warned him not to take, to gain the self-confidence to approach Bertha and be accepted by her. The elixir intentionally was created for immorality, but Winzy took it thinking it was a remedy to his love dilemma. Believing that the elixir worked and now having self-confidence, Winzy approached Bertha, giving her an ultimatum. Bertha decided to join him in marriage. Although Bertha decided to marry Winzy, she was not in love with him. Winzy went out of his way to make Bertha happy, but in the end it was never good enough. Bertha soon became jealous of Winzy and made cruel jabs at him because while she was aging, he still portrayed a man in his twenties, but Winzy stayed by her side. Her unpleasant manner only made Winzy try harder for her love and acceptance. Acceptance is characterized in “The Birth Mark” when Georgiana is constantly asked by her husband, Alymer, to remove the birth mark and decides to give in just to feel accepted and beautiful to her husband. Alymer obsesses about the birth mark because to him it symbolized mortality and sin and covers up Georgiana’s full potential…