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Desiree; 's Baby

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sitimaliha
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Gender Roles and the Identities of Women

During the late nineteenth century, there were many stereotypical attitudes regarding the roles of gender and the identity of women. Men were usually portrayed as the “breadwinners,” as well as the well-educated and the sole foundation of the family. Men had to show their masculinity by being the very upper-hand of the family. Women are portrayed as sensitive, sweet, caring, faithful, moody, naïve, etc. As a way to complete them as a whole, women needed men in their lives. However, women held the least power of the family and believed that they only had a purpose of being housewives. The ideal images of gender roles between men and women, and the identities of women can lead to stereotypes that are associated with Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby.”
In “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, gender played a big role in the life Desiree as well as Armand Aubigny. Desiree was described as “beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere— the idol of Valmonde” (1). Desiree was illustrated as if she was down to earth and had a very warm personality. At first she was nameless, like most women when they are first named by their primary families and renamed when they get married. Desiree nameless when she was first found by the Valmonde family, and then they took her in as their own and she adopted their family name. Desiree undergoes another name change when she later marries a wealthy man by the name of Armand and inherited the family name of Aubigny. Armand was most likely the “breadwinner.” He was the masculine type, a very strict slave owner, arrogant but still had a soft side. Armand fell in love with Desiree by “love at first sight”; he felt “as if struck by a pistol” (1). Armand described Desiree’s beauty in a violent illustration to express how beautiful she was; “… swept along like an avalanche, or like a...

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