Thoughts Had While Reading Désirée’s Baby
Posted on December 7, 2015
- Compassion and empathy are only possible when there exists in the self a modicum of self-love. Imperious Armand loathes himself, therefore he cannot be kind to his slaves and he seems fated to cruelly reject Désirée and the baby.
- As a society, we still think of blackness as a taint.
- While it’s nice to suppose that Désirée walked out into the bayou with the baby and survived, her errand was probably one of insensate desperation. It’s likely both died.
- As Shakespeare famously asked, “What’s in a name?” The Aubigny family is revered in Louisiana as landed gentry types; their name carries cultural cachet. Why do we ascribe so much significance to names and lineages?
- Was Désirée a little too innocent and unassuming to be believable/pitiable? Would the presumed deaths of Désirée and the baby have been more tragic had Désirée shown a little backbone?
- Is this story still relevant? I think it is, but is it immediately and unambiguously relevant in the way that high school students demand their reading be?
- If Armand had been honest with Désirée about his racial heritage, Désirée would have probably been understanding, forgiving, and even excited. Désirée was abandoned as a child, so they have a surprising amount in common concerning their ignoble origins. They could have been for each other sources of solace in a cruel world.