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Desiree's Baby

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,688 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Kate Chopin was an American author of short stories and novels, mostly with a Louisiana Creole background. Today she is considered a forerunner of the feminist authors of the 20th century. This powerful little story concerns a Southern gentleman who disowns his wife because he fears she has "negro" blood. The truth makes for a dramatic ending.
Audiobook, 7 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Commuter Library (first published 1893)
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Little Women by Louisa May AlcottRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareSense and Sensibility by Jane AustenThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneThe Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath
Subtle Feminism Throughout History
43rd out of 45 books — 12 voters
Bayou folk by Kate ChopinBayou Folk and A Night in Acadie by Kate ChopinComplete Novels and Stories by Kate ChopinKate Chopin by Kate ChopinA Night in Acadie by Kate Chopin
Best of Kate Chopin
7th out of 100 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 04, 2014 Yani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Estoy alucinada con la brevedad y la contundencia de los relatos de esta autora. Tal como me sucedió con The Story of an Hour (no lo reseñé, pero lo recomiendo sin ninguna duda), me quedé con la boca abierta en el final, anonadada por el efecto y por lo mucho que se puede extraer de unas pocas carillas leídas. Désirée’s Baby (1892) confirmó que lo mejor que pude haber hecho en estos días fue toparme de casualidad con Kate Chopin.

Désirée es una joven adoptada por los Valmondé desde que era p
Dannii Elle
My motivation for reading this short classic was that it was briefly featured in The One-in-a-Million Boy, and I felt I needed added context to understand its presence in the tale.

The tale was short and fairly well executed, but my problem with it arose from that I found it to be a pointless story. The synopsis of the mother discovering her child was of mixed-race, only after seeing him paired next to another mixed-race child felt unfeasible, and her husband's treatment of her after discovering
Apr 09, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
I thought it was a nice story until one of my former teachers gave us an interesting new theory. Then I thought it fantastic. Spoilersbahead. If you haven't read the story yet please scroll to the next review. The theory was that Armand knew the twist from the beginning. He was 7 when they moved from France where his mother was, so he probably could remember the dark woman who is his mother. His growing distance from Desiree was a form of anger at himself and shame/guilt of allowing her to take ...more
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening, one amazing feminist novel, and her most regarded piece of work, yet there is another work of hers that I often compare and put at par with the novel, it is this short story. In Desiree’s Baby we have a story of miscegenation in a Creole Louisiana, as well as a morally grey area, in which one must make their own choice on the ending, sort of like the ending of “The Giver” or “Life of Pi”.

It follows Désirée, who is adopted by Monsieur and Madame Valmondé, as she
Oct 06, 2013 Pboswell rated it it was amazing
I forgot just how sad this story is. Gahh, lies and deception ruined the lives of those who were in the dark about the truth.

It's funny how the truth about lies makes all the truth you thought you knew seem like lies too. One lie, one secret, one deception...can cause a lifetime of pain, suffering, resentment, and grief.

Color. It's the biggest division among the human race. We give it so much power, so much so that we don't know how to be ourselves in the danger of color. We crumble and surren
Raghad Khamees
Aug 27, 2014 Raghad Khamees rated it it was amazing
"Desiree's Baby" , it is a short story by Kate Chopin who wrote it before the American civil war. The plot reveals the discrimination against Afro-Americans, and how they suffer from the bad treatment because of their black skin. I really like what Kate Chopin writes. I remember that I read "the story of an hour" in the last year , and this is the second work that I've read for this creative writer.
Jul 26, 2011 Claire rated it really liked it
I had to read this short story for a class, and my jaw dropped by the end. It is an amazing account of what life was like for many women and very heart-wrenching. I could read this over and over and each time find something I hadn't noticed before, even though it is so short. I simply loved it and everyone should read this.
Jan 15, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I actually wrote a college paper on this story comparing the evolution of the plot to slavery and gender roles among African Americans and Women of the time period versus today's standards. The piece was very well written and thought provoking.
عبدالرحمن القصير
تدور أحداث القصة في لويزيانا يوم أن كانت مستعمرة فرنسية يقوم فيها البيض باستعباد السود. دزيري فتاة لقيطة تتزوج من رجل أبيض ذو وجاهة وحضوة فتنجب فتى أسود. هل كان أحد والدي دزيري أسوداً أم العكس صحيح. تثير هذه القصة العنصرية والتعذيب الذي تعرض له السود في ذلك الزمن الأسود.
Mar 27, 2016 Amal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
had to read the story for school. it was an ironical one, made me think of how much has changed in the world since the 19th century.
Sierra the Nerdgirl
Feb 03, 2015 Sierra the Nerdgirl rated it really liked it
I actually rather liked this short story compared to "The Awakening".
Jun 06, 2015 Lina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asshole husband gets as asshole husband deserves.
Oct 11, 2016 Hosanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Desiree's Baby is a classic short story by Kate Chopin. I expected the story to be like most "ancient" classics - dull, long, and written in old fashioned, confusing language. Instead, I really enjoyed it. The story was only around 5 pages long in the version I read, and it was written beautifully with a short but interesting story line. The ending actually made me laugh; the ironic twist made me appreciate the story that much more. I can't say that this is now a favorite book because it lacked ...more
Tuğçe Kurtbeyoğlu
it's always been one of those stories that affects me deeply. it has great points on racism also.
Kristina Lucero
Aug 11, 2016 Kristina Lucero rated it it was amazing
So this short story was one I had to read for my American Lit. Class and I was blown away. Often times it can be difficult to read older literature so I cheated and downloaded the free audio version from I personally find it much easier to comprehend if I hear it out loud rather than stumbling through the written words but I have included both the ebook and audio links to the story at the end of this post.

Desiree was found alone as a child asleep next to a stone pillar. She was ta
Angelica Castillo
When Arman Aubigny found out something about his wife Desiree's baby, he told them to leave because it will ruin his reputation. (view spoiler)

In the story, discrimination against African-Americans was shown. They were still treated as slaves and punished severely for every mistake they make. When Desiree's baby has grown into a few months, Arman Aubigny noticed that the baby (
Feb 21, 2015 Athena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second story I've read of Chopin's. The other was "The Story of an Hour". I liked "Desiree's Baby" much better even though it is a bit dark (pardon the pun).

Desiree is raised by a Madame Valmonde, and there is really no detail about her background. Armand Aubigny owns the plantation L'Abri and falls in love with Desiree, they get married and have a child. And then confusion sets in. There is an instance when Desiree is looking back and forth between her baby and a boy slave fanning
Zanette McCoy
Jun 11, 2014 Zanette McCoy rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-books
“Desiree’s Baby” is a short story, that I read as a requirement for my Contemporary Wold Literature class, that is written by Kate Chopin. The story was originally published on January 14th 1893, as part of short story collection called Bayou Folk. Kate Chopin is a female author that has published two novels and roughly one hundred short stories. Most of her popular literary work is based in Louisiana and focuses on the lives of women.

In “Desiree’s Baby”, Desiree marries and has a child with Arm
Gourdon Jean-marc
Nov 15, 2013 Gourdon Jean-marc rated it it was amazing
I've known this text for years but it's only when teaching it that I realised what a masterpiece it is. I cut the story into pieces to postpone the denouement and was amazed to see that my pupils could not possibly figure out what was the matter ( the boy being black). During my teaching the pattern also appeared crystal clear to me, but even though you see the ropes Dumaurier has pulled, there is always more to discover. I must have read it a hundredth times now and there are still things in it ...more
Mar 07, 2012 Brianna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love Kate Chopin. This story deals with race in the deep south. It tears apart two lovers who, in this day, would've lived a very happy life.
Do it! Read the book, because who knows what new world one might fall into? What interesting characters with interesting lives you might meet and fall in love with? You won't know if you like it unless you give it a try. You won't know if you love them unless you crack open the cover and say "Chapter One...." What's the worst that could happen? The unive
Jasmine Dgk Ramos
May 25, 2013 Jasmine Dgk Ramos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Although short, this story definitely makes an impact on the reader. I especially love Chopin's use of irony in this story as it really adds to the overall feeling. My only comment would be on the ending. Although it is not blatantly said that the woman dies, it can be assumed that she does, which seems to be the typical ending. The woman always seems to be punished in the end and/or die. But overall the story was great.
Jul 19, 2013 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great short story about the 19th century society that did not tolerate the "mixing of the races", and considered African Americans as being less worthy than white people. I just loved, how the impeccable husband who considered himself holier than thou gets his ass handed in the end, and realizes that he has lost everything due to his ignorance and bias that now has to be directed against himself as well.
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
A touching story with a sad end. It pictures how racial discrimination ruins a family. The climax was fitting,that's exactly what should've happened to that man. From the side of Desiree,it is really sad though. She was brought up as an adopted child,not even knowing her real parents, and the pain of loneliness somewhere deep inside. Now she is left alone again. A story with many shades. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I had to re-read this VERY short story, as it seemed to me everything happened at once. After re-reading this tale though I was shocked by it. The intertwining of sexism and racism is remarkably horrid to read. How a woman, especially a black woman, could be ostracized by society by a man destroying their reputation. It also shows the hypocrisy of a patriarchal society also. Overall, I found this text very moralistic and accomplished for such a short story.
Fatima Joda
Mar 02, 2015 Fatima Joda rated it it was amazing
Wooh..I'm blown away! This story was written before the American Civil war...I think Kate Chopin is incredibly fascinating and brilliant by looking into the racial issue at that time although she was white and could've not care like many others. Well, this shows how insignificant matter like "Color of the skin" was the biggest division among the human race and reveals the discrimination against Afro-Americans and how much they suffered. I LOVED it and highly recommend it.
Feb 17, 2015 Bri rated it really liked it
This book swept me away to this other wonderful world. The setting was brilliantly set. I could totally see it in my mind. But the characters were definitely my favorite part. They are all so colorful, interesting, exciting, and hilarious. The main character is just perfect. The plot moved fast enough that I couldn't stop reading lest I miss something, but the author still took the time to flesh out the details. The details are what really make or break a story.
I wish this were a happy story, but sadly it is not, but that doesn't detract from how amazing Kate Chopin is or this story. It's very ironic and sad how Armand turns out to be the very same thing which he hates so much. He initially blames Desiree for their baby being part African, but it is his heritage to blame.
Jul 01, 2010 moonletters rated it it was amazing
I really, really disliked the Awakening by Kate Chopin so when I saw this short included at the end of the book I wasn't sure if I wanted to take the time to read it.

I am so glad I did! It has become one of my all time favorite short stories and is excellently executed. I recommend it to everyone!
Nadira Syahidah
Jun 11, 2015 Nadira Syahidah rated it really liked it
I read this short story because my lecturer asked us to read this. It was a good story, though. There was still a big discrimination that can not be accepted in the year the story took in. Well, it was not Desireé's fault after all. Ah I do not want to spoiler it. It was full of irony although the story was too short, for me.
Jul 20, 2013 Ali rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A short story I read at the beginning of my first college year. Despite it being short, the impact it had on me was great. It also gave me a deeper insight to the terrible world of slavery and racism in North America in just a few pages through the painful story of Desiree and her baby. A light and enjoyable read.
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Kate Chopin was an American novelist and short-story writer best known for her startling 1899 novel, The Awakening. Born in St. Louis, she moved to New Orleans after marrying Oscar Chopin in 1870. Less than a decade later Oscar's cotton business fell on hard times and they moved to his family's plantation in the Natchitoches Parish of northwestern Louisiana. Oscar died in 1882 and Kate was suddenl ...more
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