This entry was posted in The Awakening and tagged bi-racial black male part black white on February 7, 2014 by Betsy Huang

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Character:  Armand Aubigny

Source Text:  Chopin, Kate. The Awakening: With a Selection of Quick Stories. 1899. Reprint. New York City: Bantam Dell, 1981. 177-182. Print.

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Enattempt Author: Emma Baker


In Kate Chopin’s short story, “Desiree’s Baby,” Armand Aubigny is the father of the titular kid and the husband also of Desiree. Belonging to a renowned, respectable Creole household, he owns a plantation referred to as L’Abri that he inherited from his father. He spent his childhood in Paris until his mother’s death, and returned home to the United States through his father. Presumably, he lived with his mom as soon as she was still alive. His function in the short story concentrates on falling in love with Desiree, the embraced daughter of the Valmondés, one more well-known creole family members. Although Desiree originates from an ‘obscure origin,’ as the Valmondés uncovered her roughly the ‘toddling age’ near the gateway to their residence, Armand also initially finds that no obstacle to marriage instead asserting, “What did it matter around a name once he might provide her one of the earliest and also proudest in Louisiana?” However, while his father treated the slaves under his ownership via kindness, “Young Aubigny’s dominance was a strict one, as well, and also under it his negroes had actually forgained how to be gay.” (Chopin, 177)

As such, Chopin positions Armand Aubigny as the character via the a lot of power in his societal context. He is male, rich, and also at the start of the story, both the reader and the bordering characters believe he is white. One can watch proof of his exercise of this power in the therapy of his slaves as well as evidence of prejudice and also racism. He appears reasonable in his acceptance of a nameless wife whose beginnings are unwell-known at the begin of the novel, but after the birth of their boy one perceives changes in his behavior. Others notice the child’s skin tone before he does however he begins to lacking “himself from home; and also once tright here, avoided presence and also that of her boy, without excuse.” (Chopin, 179) After Desiree herself realizes the similarity to among the quadroon boys of La Blanche, a mulatto servant, she pleads with Armand also to tell her what it indicates. He only responds, “it means…that the kid is not white; it implies that you are not white.” (Chopin, 180) Armand is not suspected to be the factor for the child’s quadroon appearance, as Desiree’s beginning is unrecognized. As she attempts to defend herself by naming her functions, he cruelly responds, “As white as La Blanche,” (Chopin, 180) demonstrating that the physical appearance of whiteness holds no power when one carries ‘babsence blood.’ Following this, he draws even more amethod from his wife, starts to treat his servants via a higher cruelty than before and does not prevent his wife from walking unprotected into the bayou via her son never to rerevolve. His position in a area of power demonstrates just how influential his actions and decisions are on the stays of others roughly him, and highlight the discrepancy in between an unknown origin or namelessness and also the opportunity of having black family tree.

Chopin does not reveal his parentage till the last lines of the story.

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As he burns every one of Desiree’s belongings he finds a letter sent from his mother to his father saying, “I thank the excellent God for having actually so arranged our resides that our dear Armand will never before recognize that his mom, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed through the brand also of slaextremely.” (Chopin, 182) The reader then retroproactively remembers miscellaneous mentions throughout the story of “Armand’s dark, handsome challenge,” (Chopin, 179) and once Desiree pleads, “look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand.” (Chopin, 180) Therefore, Chopin constructs Armand also as a combined race character who passes for white and maintains, if not enforces, the standing quo in order to show the hypocrisy of the Louisiana society. In the revelation of his combined race as the last and also pivotal plot-allude, Chopin upsets the status quo by saying a finish lack of adherence throughout the piece, and emphasizing the dire aftermath that resulted from adherence to those conventions.