I Read a Great Story

Once again, I have found myself reading another Kate Chopin short story. What can I say? I think I’ve become addicted to this interesting woman. This time I chose the short story titled “Desiree’s Baby”. A friend introduced me to this story, so I guess it was just fate. “Desiree’s Baby” is a great short story. The central story is about miscegenation (inter-breeding of races), and the setting takes place in Louisiana.  Just to refresh your memory, Chopin was strongly Pro-Confederate during her life. It’s safe to say how she already feels about miscegenation; however, the story’s empathy towards the subject was quite surprising.

The story begins with a subtle flashback to the abandonment of a child, Desiree. Madame Valmonde took her in and claimed her as her own. A very prominent and rich white man fell in love with Desiree years later, and they were married. Eventually, they had a child together. The conflict is a racial crisis between a husband and wife.

It is written in the third person omniscient, playing into the thoughts and emotions of all three main characters—mostly Desiree. As the conflict is introduced in the story, the mood changes. It’s a very abrupt change which worked well. At first, the author had me confused at the time, but I eventually came to a realization.

Chopin does well with having sensitivity towards the emotion of the wife. In a way, she kind of displays the hurt she feels because of identity. In this story, I feel there’s no bias present towards the conflict. The author places herself in the shoes of every character and displays what she thinks they would feel to the best of her ability, which is very appreciative. I love the way Chopin incorporates the Louisiana lifestyle in the story.

Some things I found unattractive of the story was the lack of metaphorical descriptions as I see in her other works. This story was full of literal descriptions, not leaving much up to the imagination, and that’s something I enjoyed about her other works. I also didn’t agree/understand the ‘wrapping up’ of the conclusion. With that being said, the actual ending was amazing, a definite jaw dropper. There was the numbering of the paragraphs, and I didn’t know if this was the actual structure or if the website placed them there. I found the numbers quite distracting and unnecessary. Throughout the story, all of the text was in chunks, and the last section was very small.

In conclusion, this story definitely tops the others I’ve read by Chopin. It’s very well written and emotionally stirring. It really does leave you thinking ‘wow’. I know it did for me. I would definitely say this is one of my favorite short stories now.

If you’re looking for something great to read in under ten minutes, “Desiree’s Baby” is the answer. You’re in for a good treat. Click here to read the full story, and see the very nice portrait that goes along with it. You can thank me later.

Author: Jadaccia Brown

I write about all the things I hate and try to make them likable. Without writing, I wouldn't understand how something so beautiful could be conceived from destruction. Creating stories and poetry is like giving birth to children and having no idea how to raise them. That's the beauty of it. It's limitless. You can mess up and make the wrong moves and apologize for it later. You can go with the flow or have a strategic plan. As Barbara Grizzuti Harrison says, "All acts performed in the world begins in the imagination."