Short Story #40. Desirée’s Baby (Kate Chopin)

Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I drew the queen of hearts.

Story: Desirée’s Baby, by Kate Chopin [available online here]

Comments: Oh wow. This was my first encounter with Kate Chopin, and now I am anxious to read more.  Set in Louisiana in the late nineteenth century, it is a powerful story about racism and prejudice.  There is no need for the author to comment, the story speaks for itself.  Character is built up quickly by this skilful writer – the person of Desirée’s mother, for instance, comes through strongly, though she is given only a few lines.  Prejudice is still widespread in society – we are all, in some way, Armand Aubigny.   And many of us are, in some way, also Desirée.

The ending reminds me of the conclusion of John B. Keane’s play Sive, in which the tragic heroine leaves her home and heads towards the swampy bog.

I’m so glad I’ve encountered this story and this author.

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