Desiree’s Baby; Feministic Approach
The women of the late 19th century and early 20th century were held to a very structured yet suppressed style of living. The author, Kate Chopin, had to write Desiree’s Baby under an alias because of the expectations, or lack thereof, for women during this time. Desiree’s Baby reflects the suppression and the responsibilities women assumed during this time. The story of Desiree’s Baby is that of an orphaned woman that marries into the Aubigny family, who are known to be harsh and ruthless slave owners. When she bears a child with her husband, Armand Aubigny, she realizes that the child has some sort of African descent. Her husband quickly assumes that it is Desiree’s fault because she knows nothing about her biological family which leads Desiree to leave Armand. Later Armand reads a letter from his mother where she states that ironically it is him that carries the African gene. Desiree’s Baby reflects the oppression of women and their lack of identity, lack of voice, and, ultimately, their lack of self-worth which relates to the stir of feminism during this time.
Throughout the development of the story the character of Desiree seems to revolve around the happiness of her husband. “When he frowned she trembled, but loved him. When he smiled, she asked no greater blessing of God." (Goodwin et al.83) Armand has all control of Desiree, making her voiceless and a flat character in the development of the story. Women of this time were just known to be wives and mothers and with that they never developed their identity as people. Desiree’s Baby depicts the lack of identity because of the types of roles society forced them to take.
Much like the women today the act of not being of pleasure to someone (especially men) take over their self-worth. Desiree aims to please her husband always and makes it a priority and when failing to do so, she finds her existence worthless. “The very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of...