Theme of Race in Desiree's Baby Essay

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Desiree’s Baby by Fury Borges Diaz

As I read "Desiree’s Baby" by Kate Chopin, I couldn’t imagine living in an era where my value as a human being was determined by my skin color. I ask myself if I would have been considered an Afro-Cuban and treated like a slave just because my father is a "Quadroon" (1/4 African)? Would my father’s skin color, heritage and ethnicity make me an "Octaroon" (1/8 African) regardless of the fact that my skin is lighter than most Caucasian’s?
"Desiree’s Baby" by K. Chopin is set in the early nineteen hundreds, just before the American Civil War. In that era, slavery was legal and people who had traces of African descent were treated worse than insects. It was an era when a human’s value and social
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According to the law in that era his mother was considered to belong to the race that was "cursed by the brand of slavery" (108). In addition to his knowledge of his mother’s heritage and ethnicity, his dark skin pigmentation was a constant reminder of his true identity. The author described Armand’s features as "dark" and "handsome" [page 106]. Deep inside he always knew he was an "octaroon".
The author writes about a letter that Armand found in his drawer while searching through Desiree’s belongings. This letter was written by his mother addressed to his father revealing that he was "cursed with the brand of slavery" (108). As a matter of fact, he didn’t find the letter, Armand always knew about the letter, he had found the letter prior to his father death and ripped the part that revealed his relationship with the Black race in order to confront his father once and for all. Perhaps, he decided to keep this piece of correspondence in his safe drawer as a reminder of the pain, suffering, and embarrassment that his mother’s heritage and ethnicity had caused him (108). This safe drawer was a symbol of everything that brought shame and embarrassment to him and to his prestigious name. Armand believed that by burning the items in this drawer it would give him a sense of not belonging to a race that he detested.
Due to his secret knowledge of being a black man, he grew up to become an

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