Desiree's Baby is a short story written by Kate Chopin in 1893 It is about a woman named Desiree and her husband, Armand, who have a baby. The story focuses on the social implications of the baby's skin color, and the resulting alienation, racism, and powerlessness of both the mother and the child. Ultimately, the story shows how an oppressive society can deny the basic rights of a person regardless of gender, race, or class.
This story can be used as a teaching tool for exploring the complicated dynamics of racism and inequality, and provides an opportunity to think critically about the power dynamics in society. The following are five potential essay topics to explore in depth:
1. Analyze how Desiree's gender and class impacted her experience in the story, and how her gender and class hindered or enabled her ability to make choices and agency.
2. Examine how the power dynamics between Armand and Desiree shape the ending of the story, and how the story serves as a warning against patriarchal power.
3. Discuss the power dynamics between race, gender, and class and how those power dynamics play out in the context of Desiree's Baby.
4. Analyze how Desiree's decision to keep her baby despite the social repercussions reflects her character, and how her decision is impacted by her surrounding environment.
5. Assess how attitudes towards race and class still exist today, and how those attitudes prevent individuals from having access to basic rights.