Racism Kills

  • Length: 757 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Racism dates back thousands and thousands of years back to the caveman times. In the short story “Desiree’s Baby”, Kate Chopin shows how discrimination by skin color can affect people. Desiree was abandoned and raised by Madame Valmonde. Armand, the father of the baby, was a member of the most notable families in Louisiana. He falls in love with Desiree and marries her. After they have a baby, their relationship quickly corrodes. A few months later, Armand realizes the baby’s skin has a darker tint than usual. He accuses Desiree of being black. Armand tells Desiree he wants her to leave so Desiree takes the baby and “disappears among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou” (Chopin 91) and never returns. Armand finds out that Desiree is black when he reads a letter that her mother sent her that read “she belongs to the race which is cursed with the brand of slavery” (Chopin 92). The story’s ironic ending has a connection with the story’s setting, imagery, and Chopin’s use of similies.
The setting has a major role to the ironic ending because it takes place in antembellum South where blacks are not treated equally to whites. There are several hints at where and when the story takes place. First, Armand’s last name, Aubigny, was “one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana” (Chopin 89) which tells us it takes place in Louisiana. Also, Chopin says that Armand owns a plantation and many slaves which wouldn’t have been possible after the Civil War times showing that the story takes place during the antebellum period. The name of Armand’s plantation, L’Abri, is also ironic because it means “the shelter” in French which is ironic for Desiree because it is a bad place for her not a good place. Chopin explains how “there was something in the air menacing her peace”. The story wouldn’t take place in any other time period or location because if it did, Desiree wouldn’t be discriminated for being black, therefore wouldn’t of run of into the bayou along with the baby.
Chopin’s use of imagery leads up to the irony at the end of the story the greatest because Chopin contrasts black and white skin colors.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Racism Kills." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jun 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
Racism, Obscenity and Society in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain - Racism, obscenity, and the level of society make up a large portion of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain’s book is a well-known classic. However, he includes topics and dialogue that has caused tremendous conflict and controversy. In schools across the country, Huck Finn is already being taken off shelves due to its inappropriate nature. Many people believe that Huck Finn should be banned because of the insulting words and quotes displayed in the book. Mark Twain has been critically accused of being a “racist writer.” His writings have been extremely insulting towards colored people....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, racism] 516 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Evolution of Racism: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay - To Kill a Mockingbird is a true American classic of the time and one of those seminal works that shaped a generation. The world is an imperfect place; we all know that, this book is a superb example of this. It specifically states in the book “Ewells hate and despise the colored folks” (Lee 229). This being said why do they hate them. Is it a logical hatred or just a figment of the imagination. They hate them because they remind them of themselves; it is fear that drives them to hatred. If one sit downs and truly gets to the heart of our problems as humans everything stems from one central idea....   [tags: fear, black trash, generation]
:: 4 Works Cited
987 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Racism in Toni Morrison's Song of Solmon Essay - Racism in Toni Morrison's Song of Solmon Milkman is born on the day that Mr. Smith kills himself trying to fly; Milkman as a child wanted to fly until he found out that people could not. When he found, "that only birds and airplanes could fly&emdash;he lost all interest in himself" (9). The novel Song of Solomon is about an African American man nicknamed Milkman. This novel, by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison was first published in 1977, shows a great deal of the African American culture, and the discrimination within their culture at the time Song of Solomon takes place....   [tags: Song of Solmon Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1223 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Racism in William Shakespeare’s Othello Essay - Racism in William Shakespeare’s Othello   In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello racism is featured throughout, not only by Iago in his despicable animalistic remarks about Othello’s marriage, but also by other characters. Let us in this essay analyze the racial references and their degrees of implicit racism. Racism persists from the opening scene till the closing scene in this play. In “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello” Valerie Wayne comments on the racism inherent in the final act of the drama: When Othello finally kills himself and says he is killing the ‘turbaned Turk’ who ‘beat a Venetian and traduced the state’ (V, ii, 349-50), he is killing the monster he became...   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]
:: 6 Works Cited
2605 words
(7.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Dr. Haviland’s A Silence That Kills and Florence King’s I’d Rather Smoke than Kiss - Do you smoke. Such a question has been asked to most people at one time or another. The topic of smoking certainly requires a thorough analysis, whether you smoke or not. It’s also an issue which seems to polarize people. In this reading we’ll compare contrasting viewpoints by two different individuals. As I present the arguments, I’ll dissect them to truly understand their inner-workings. Both Dr. Haviland and King touch on many subjects yet seem to ignore others. I think a balance must be struck when it comes to smoking, both through individual rights and a social responsibility....   [tags: tobacco, smoking]
:: 1 Works Cited
1058 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Racism In America Essay - There is surely no nation in the world that holds "racism" in greater horror than does the United States. Compared to other kinds of offenses, it is thought to be somehow more reprehensible. The press and public have become so used to tales of murder, rape, robbery, and arson, that any but the most spectacular crimes are shrugged off as part of the inevitable texture of American life. "Racism" is never shrugged off. For example, when a White Georgetown Law School student reported earlier this year that black students are not as qualified as White students, it set off a booming, national controversy about "racism." If the student had merely murdered someone he w...   [tags: essays research papers] 2398 words
(6.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Discrimination and Racism in Country Lovers and The Welcome Table Essay - Discrimination and Racism in “Country Lovers” by Nadine Gordimer and “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker Discrimination and racism is always an issue, but the hardship these women had to face and suffer is something that is still being discussed. Understanding the fear, struggle and hardship that women of color went through during this time period is very important. Both “Country Lovers” by Nadine Gordimer and “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker discuss race and the struggle with trying to be accepted in society....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 3 Works Cited
1712 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Racism in Film Crash - Racism in Film Crash In the film Crash, racism is a major theme. Racism is the discrimination or abusive behavior towards members of another race. In this case, white people are racist towards the black people. In this society, white people have power over black people and black people cannot do anything about it. Some whites don't use their power towards blacks but clearly show that they dislike blacks. The film shows a few scenes that define racism and power. About ten minutes into the film, two black guys were walking towards a politician and his wife and once the wife saw the black guys, she walked closer to her husband....   [tags: Papers Movie Movies Crash Ethnicity Essays] 589 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Divine Wind - Racism Essay - The Divine Wind describes an Australia that is tarnished by racism, hatred and distrust, and yet the novel ends on an optimistic note. Do you agree. The novel is set during a World War. The tension and separation of races during a war seemed evident in Australia. As a multicultural country including Japanese and Aborigine population, conflicting attitudes towards these races had to be imminent. I entirely agree with the above statement due to the unequal treatment of the aborigines, tension between the Japanese population and characters such as Hart showing lack of trust over his lover Mitsy With a war against the Japanese was the trigger for racism in Australia....   [tags: essays research papers] 540 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF RACISM ON BIGGER THOMAS Essay - THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF RACISM ON BIGGER THOMAS THESIS: Bigger Thomas represents the black man’s condition and his revolt against the injustices of the white caste society. When one looks at the contribution of blacks in the world of American literature, Richard Wright is considered one of the great contributors. Truly one of his books which highlights the black’s view of American society has to be Native Son. In Native Son, Richard Wright creates the characterization of “native sons” who are products of American civilization....   [tags: Essays Papers]
:: 5 Works Cited
1510 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

First, Chopin explains how Armand’s plantation is all full of dark colors. “The roof came down steep and black...branches shadowed it like a pall” (Chopin 89). This initial imagery shows Armand’s control. When Armand’s father ran the plantation, he was very nice to the slaves and treated them humanly, but when Armand took the plantation over he was very harsh and cruel, “under it, his negroes had forgotten how to be gay” (Chopin 89). Armand has a “dark, handsome face” (Chopin 90). This symbolizes Armand’s hatred and is a foreshadow to the end when it turns out Armand is black. Desiree, on the other hand, is always surrounded by light colors. For example, when she is leaving the plantation towards her death, she was still wearing a thin, white garment, and, “her hair was uncovered and the sun’s rays brought a golden glean from its brown meshes” (Chopin 91). The colors they are surrounded by also illustrate their personalities. While Desiree, who is “beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere” (Chopin 88) is surrounded by light, Armand, is “imperious and exacting” (Chopin 90) is surrounded by dark.
The similes that Chopin uses also leads up to support the ironic ending by showing Armand’s emotional changes and Desiree’s feelings of rejection. Most of the similes to describe Armand’s actions happen when he falls in love with Desiree. Even though they knew each other since he was eight years old, he didn’t fall in love with her until they were in their twenties. Chopin explains that sudden love, “as if struck by a pistol shot” (Chopin 88) was the way everyone in Armand’s family fell in love. Two similes that explain Desiree’s shock add to the ironic twist at the end of the story. First, Desiree realizes her baby is not white and her blood, “turned like ice in her veins” (Chopin 90). Later, Armand tells Desiree he wants her to leave and Desiree turns away “like one stunned by a blow” (Chopin 91). This is how Chopin’s use of similes connect to the ironic ending.
The main conflict in “Desiree’s Baby” is ultimately race. This story’s use of similes and imagery, along with the setitng, make for a good ironic ending in which Armand is really black not Desiree. Therefore, racism kills.

Return to 123HelpMe.com