• 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.
Advertisements