How Far Does Race Go? Essay

Submitted By walkerboy08
Words: 1010
Pages: 5

How Far Does Race Go?
Wayne and Armand Aubigny

Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby”, written in the late 1800s takes place during a time period where race was all that a person had. Here is an affectionate and sincere woman who was abandoned as a baby. She was found lying asleep by Madame Valmonde and Monsieur Valmonde. Having raised a nice young woman, it did not take long to fall in love. Armand fell in love instantly, “as if struck by a pistol shot”. He and Desiree got married after he ordered her a basket full of nice things. As a normal family, Armand was the dominate one. He handled the slaves and did the manly duties of the household. Having a child shortly afterward marriage, Madame Valmonde could not wait to visit their home in L’Abri. Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby”, and Dorothy Shawhan’s “Last of the Un-Reconstructed Southerners” are both stories that allow readers to understand the importance of race and the unexpected life changes that occur. Desiree had a baby boy with Armand in L’Abri, which was a sad looking place, yet home for Monsieur Aubigny where he had his own set of rules. As in Shawhan’s “Last of the Un-Reconstructed Southerners” both families owned their set of Negroes. Grace, from rural Mississippi found herself breathless by the weight of her husband’s leaving. Wayne felt as though he wanted different for his life. He no longer wanted to be a slave holder on their land of 25 years. He felt smothered and left Grace with a bad taste in her mouth by calling her a racist. Looking closely on each story, both the men characters were the highlights. In Chopin’s story, their newborn baby brought a new light on Desiree, as well as Armand. The growth of the child drew massive questions of the race. Armand himself was not pleased with the way things were going. He became vicious and had forgotten how to be happy as mystery among the blacks started menacing. The baby was a little darker than what was known to be white. Meanwhile, in another time zone, a man was leaving his wife because the odds had changed. Wayne was tired of his life style and wanted out, but why after 25 years? Seems that with time changing, the world becoming more accepting of blacks, Wayne started changing with the world. He went off and began to date a black city woman. Grace had no idea about the affair. At first, she was hopelessly waiting on her husband of 25 years to return home. Both stories showed how raced can make or break any relationship. In Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby”, Armand chose to let his wife and child leave because the baby was mixed. Not knowing his exact roots or Desiree’s roots, he assumed she was not white and wanted nothing to do with them both. He isolated himself from them both by staying away so that he would not have to acknowledge the situation that was at hand. As time went by, he found and started to burn some old letters and discovered that he was the mixed blend after all. This story showed how ignorant he was to the fact that it could have been his blood the entire time that made the baby look the way he did. Armand’s mother, whom he never knew or knew of, was born to the race that was cursed with the brand of slavery, not Desiree. Shawhan’s story ended a little more dramatically with Wayne and his new lady leaving behind a little girl. They died in a horrific car accident and Grace was left to care for his baby. Not just any baby, but a mixed child, and a child who she could never give Wayne. Grace did what she only knew how to do, and that was care for the child as if she was the one to