Desiree's Baby

'Desiree's Baby summary'

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In the story, Desiree's Baby, by Kate Chopin the main character, Desiree is a foundling. Her adoptive parents find her by the side of the road and as they are childless, they rasie her as their own. The Valmonde family love her as if she were one of their own, but when she becomes a woman and a man asks to marry her, they are forthcoming with the information that they don't know who her parents are. He swears that it doesn't matter and they wed.

Her new husband, Armand, owns a plantation in Louisiana, and they quickly settle into happy married life. Desiree has a baby boy and the family are ecstatic. When her adoptive mother comes to visit her and the child she remarks, "This is not the baby!" Desiree laughs it off thinking that her mother means that the baby is growing so well.

But things begin happening on the plantation and the slaves start acting funny. Armand begins acting coldly. Then, one day while Desiree is watching a slave fan her sleeping child she realizes that there are similarties between her child and the slave. It dawns on her that the baby must be of mixed heritage and she asks Armand about it. He blames her, saying that as a foundling it was most likely her that was black and that the child is now a stain on his good name.

Desiree writes to her mother to ask what to do and her mother tells her to bring the baby home to them where they will both be loved. Despondent, Desiree takes the baby and instead of going to her mothers, walks into the bayou and is never seen again.

Later, as Armand is clearning out and disposing of Desiree's possessions, he runs across some letters from his own mother to his father, stating that she was glad that Armand had never learned of HIS mixed heritage. His mother had been African American.