Désirée’s Baby Alternate Ending Critical Reflection

        Désirée’s Baby by Kate Chopin is a story I found both intriguing and captivating; however, at the end of this short story I was left feeling unsatisfied. The story left me wanting more, so to solve my own problem I decided to do my Unit III project on this story.Armand is the father !

I have created an alternate ending to Désirée’s Baby that I believe continues the captivating appeal that Chopin has done. In my alternate ending, it explores the thoughts and feelings of Armand. In the original story, Chopin did not explore Armand’s thoughts nor did she really express verbally what Armand was feeling. I wanted to change that. I wanted to examine how Armand felt after he read the letter from his mother. I felt like the last line of Chopin’s original story was a climax to a continued story.

While viewing Armand’s thoughts and feelings, in my version Armand expresses himself by writing letters to Désirée. These letters give the readers a more personal relationship to Armand. I also took the ideal of my professor, Jane Lucas, to change the font of my letter to cursive because of the time period. Armand also commits suicide in my version, and the reason for this was because Chopin quoted through the characters how bad it was to be Negro descent, so I wanted to continue to play on that (179).

To make the story less predictable, I brought Armand’s mother back to America. Love is something that makes you do things you think you would never do. In this case, it made Armand’s stubborn mother come to America. I thought about explaining her death also back in France, but since my alternate ending was already long and explanatory I felt like I could leave that out.

Désirée’s Baby was already a great story. I feel like Chopin left the ending the way she did for readers like me to create their own endings of what happens after. Not only did my alternate ending create a different point of view, but it also had some plot twists. This project allowed me to be left satisfied with the ending I have created for Kate Chopin’s story.

Works Cited

Chopin,Kate. “Désirée’s Baby.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 177-80. Print.

Désirée’s Baby Continued: A Look Into an Alternate Ending To Kate Chopin’s Désirée’s Baby

Armand stood in the hallway in shock while he read and re read the lasts lines of his mother’s letter to his father. Feelings of resentment towards his mother and father arose, feelings of regret towards his wife arose, and most of all feelings of self-hatred arose in him.

He said to himself, “Being a Negro is the worst thing that can happen to me. Why has God cursed me with this race? My own mother did not even want to be this, so why would I?” Armand walked to his bedroom and locked the door.

About two months has gone by and Désirée continued to write Armand. She wrote about the baby mostly and her new job as a saleswoman, but she also wrote about how much she missed him.

When Désirée returned home from work, she could tell something was different. As she walked into the house, she greeted her baby and her parents. When greeting her parents, she noticed that there was something strange about the way they were acting. She ignored it and went up to her bedroom. Right away, she noticed an envelope on her bed. The envelope was addressed from Armand and she immediately ripped it open. The letter read:

My dearest Désirée, I first off want to apologize for all the pain and heartache I caused you. You have been the only women to ever make me feel the way you did when we were together. You being the mother to my child was all that I could ever want. It made me the happiest man on earth. Our child is beautiful just like you and will unfortunately bear the last name of Aubigny just like you also. As our child grew up and began to look more and more Negro, rage would increase day by day for me. Having Negro in your blood is a curse within itself to me, and apparently to my mother too. I am sorry that I blamed you for giving that curse to our child when it is I who has done that. Read the letter from my mother to my father that I have attached to this one to further explain. I love you and I am sorry. Goodbye.


Désirée read the letter that was written by Armand’s mother, dropped it and screamed when she got to the last line revealing the truth about Armand.

Désirée’s parents rushed upstairs and asked, “What’s wrong?” She stared into space and they yelled again, “Désirée, WHAT IS WRONG?”
She looked at them with wide confused eyes and said, “Armand is the reason why our child is Negro. His mother was from slavery.” Her parents did not give the same reaction as she did, matter of fact they did not seem surprised at all. This startled her so she began to cry, “Please tell me you did not know this already?” Her parents looked down to the ground and did not respond. She fell to the ground and cried saying, “How could you guys know something like this and not tell me? You know I do not care about someone’s blood, especially Armand’s. I love him regardless of what he is, but you could have at least told me?”
Désirée’s mother replied, “I know sweetie, but it was not our place to tell you that. Armand’s parents did not even tell him.”
“How did you even know that Armand had Negro in his blood?”
“I don’t think that is-“
Désirée’s father finally butted in and said, “Honey, I really do not think-“
“Fine. Since you want to know. I will tell you, “ said Désirée’s mother, “ We know that Armand has Negro in his blood because his mother was once our house slave-“
“But mother I thought we never owned a slave and Armand told me his mother was too stubborn to ever leave France.”
“Armand’s mother was a very stubborn woman, but Armand’s father was very persistent. The love they had for each other was unspeakable, so he convinced her in time to come to America. Being so wealthy and known in this town, Armand’s father knew he could not be seen in public with her, as much as he hated. So Armand’s father brought her to us. No one knew about his mother’s past except for us, so she easily passed as just a maid. Her skin was so light you would have never guessed that she came from Negro. Armand’s father asked us to keep it a secret and in return he would help us. We did not know how he would help us because we did not want his money, so we just went about our lives. We treated her with the same respect we treat you. I just needed some help around the house that is all. We never beat on her or even called her Negro! Months later you arrived at our doorstep with a note from Armand’s father. That is how we got you and I am so blessed.”
Crying hysterically Désirée said, “So I am just some trade off?”
“No, honey! You are our blessing”
“This is a lot to take in mother, I need some time alone. I need to go see Armand.”
“Do what you feel is right “
“Well, I will go see Armand. I will leave in the morning”

Désirée was arriving on Armand’s driveway that led to his house and she saw the slaves smiling and laughing. She was happy with the thought of Armand being nice to the slaves and allowing them to be happy, but as she got closer to the house she could see that they were not working at all. Finally stopping in front of the house, she was quickly met by the head house slave, Jacky.

The Aubigny's plantation.

The Aubigny’s plantation.

She blocked Désirée’s path from entering the house and said, “Madam, I do not think you want to go into the house.”
Désirée questioned, “Why?” Jacky did not answer her but would not move either. Désirée heart dropped and she ran past Jacky to Armand’s bedroom upstairs. Opening the door, Désirée’s eyes met with the town doctor. She saw Armand was blue and not breathing and frantically asked, “What is wrong with him?”
He walked to her slowly, placed his hand on her shoulder, and said, “Your husband has committed suicide by taking poison. It appears he left a note for you. I am sorry.”
Désirée dropped to her knees and began to cry hysterically. The doctor did not know what to do so he laid the letter beside her and walked out. She looked at the letter, got herself together and read:

Désirée, I am sure have gotten my letter by now and I am guessing you do not want me because I am cursed with the blood of Negro. Honestly, I do not even want myself, and since this is true…I will end my own life. There is nothing worse than being Negro, but that is beside the point. I wrote this letter to tell you that I am freeing all of my slaves, giving you my property, and all my riches. Please raise our child with the same love you have given to me. I love you and our baby. Goodbye. Forever. Also, please do tell our child that he does have Negro blood so that he does not grow up with the same hate I had for Negroes. Let him grow up to be a man that will have equality towards people. Let him be courageous instead of a coward like me. Tell him the truth about my death.


Désirée began crying again because she did not want the money nor did she want the house, she wanted Armand. She wanted Armand to help raise their beautiful child and because she could not bear that thought of a life without him she moved back with her parents for a while.

Two years after accepting Armand’s death, Désirée finally was able to move back to L’Abri. They lived there the rest of their lives with slaves, but the slaves were treated like family. When Désirée’s baby was around thirteen, she let him read the letter Armand gave to her before committing suicide. The son grew up just as the father wanted him to and was proud to have Negro in his blood.

Let’s Not Talk About It: Comparisons of Russell Banks’ “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat” and Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”

Abortion is not an everyday conversation topic. It is probably one of the most uncomfortable and controversial topics one can discuss. In the stories “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat” by Russell Banks and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, the theme of the stories is abortion. Even though the topic is hard to talk about, these two stories present the topic in a way that allows the readers to understand the complexity of the topic through a comparison of the technique and resolution and a difference in the presenting of the characters.

The one significant difference between the stories is that in “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat,” the author does not reveal the names of the characters. Banks describes the characters through imagery; he writes, “Her long, honey blond hair swung from side to side across her tanned shoulder”(63). Throughout the story, the author uses descriptive imagery to give a better look into the characters and what they are feeling. On the contrary, Hemingway tells one of the characters’ names, which was the girl, Jig. In the beginning of the story, he also refers to the couple as “ the American and the girl.“ Throughout the story, Ernest Hemingway reveals that Jig is depends on the American because he can speak Spanish, but she cannot. Beyond these facts, the dialogue and action describes the characters.

While the difference in character naming exists, both stories convey a larger theme behind the title. “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat” signifies a problem. As opposed to the title being “Man” and “Woman,” Banks entitles it to indicate Black and White suggesting that a problem of race could arise. In addition to the implication of color, Banks also specifies the color of the rowboat as dark green. The color green is usually related to nature, trees, growth, and natural things, but placing the word dark before the word green creates paradoxical meaning. Russell Banks’ title also reveals that his story will use more of a descriptive imagery to tell the story.

Ernest Hemingway’s title, “Hills Like White Elephants is the first instance where he hides meaning with underlying words. The simile in the title compares hills to white elephants. Hills often can be seen as barriers or obstacles one must go up. Because the story is about pregnancy and abortion, the hills can represent the shape of a pregnant woman. White elephants signify a burdensome possession or something that is more trouble than it is worth. White elephants are also viewed as something sacred. This title suggests two views of: a pregnancy is a burden and a pregnancy is something that is sacred. Hemingway’s title reflects his story because it reveals that the story will be told by dialogue and underlying messages within the words.

The iceberg method is a way both authors decide to tell the story. This method allows the authors to use the underlying messages through the sub-texts to tell the story. Neither of the authors explicitly reveals what the theme of the story is. We as an audience have to read in-between the lines. For example, in “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat” the girl says:
“ I’m already putting on weight,” she said.
“ It doesn’t work that way. You’re just eating too much.”
“I told mother” The man stopped rowing and looked at her. “I told mother,” she repeated. Her eyes were closed and her face was directed toward the sun and she continued to stoke her cheekbone and lower jaw. (64)

Just in this short passage alone, the reader can guess what the conversation is about. The guy saying, “It doesn’t work that way,” makes us question what exactly “it” is. Then, as the girl repeats herself, her body language gives more to the story. Her eyes being closed and her face directed somewhere else says a lot without using words. Her eyes being closed shows that she does not want to make eye contact with the man because the conversation between them is too hard to have. Her face being towards the sun shows that she would rather be elsewhere. That passage alone lets us conclude that the girl is pregnant, and that this conversation is very hard for her to engage in.

Similar to Banks, Ernest Hemingway does the same:
“You’ve got to realize,” he said, “ that I don’t want you to do it if you don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go through with it if it means anything to you’”
“Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along”
“Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else. And I know it’s perfectly simple.” (419)

Even if we as an audience do not know that the story is about pregnancy and abortion, we could still guess that there is a problem between the characters. The man pretends to be supportive by saying, “I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to,” but then two lines later he says, “But, I don’t want anybody but you.” This is contradictory. It reveals that the man already has his mind made up and is really trying to persuade the girl to do what he wants her to do.

Besides the stories being similar in the use of the iceberg method, the settings of the stories are also both in a place of transit. “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat” is set in a rowboat on a lake, and “Hills Like White Elephants” is set in a train station in Barcelona. The setting of both stories has an underlying message. Because these stories are about the decision of abortion, the sudden stop in a place of transit could mean that the lives of the characters are on hold. They are stuck between where they were and where they are going to go.

Neither of the stories has a real ending; so deciding how the story will end will be left up to the readers. I believe the authors did this because these stories give us a glimpse in the lives of the characters. We do not know the full background; we just know the few pages that the authors gives us. Within these few pages, the authors suggest how the ending could possibly be, but still allow the readers to end the story.

Abortion is a very hard topic to talk about, let alone write about. As the readers can see, Banks and Hemingway’s stories have more comparisons than contrasts. The iceberg method allows these writers to tell these stories using underlying messages that the readers have to find. It allows the audience to read in between the lines and get more out of the story than what was overtly presented.

Works Cited

Banks, Russell. “Black Man and White Woman In Dark Green Rowboat.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 62-67. Print.

Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like A White Elephant.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 416-419. Print.

My First Visiting Writers Experience

I love spoken word and poetry, so when Professor Lucas gave us a sample of Joshua Bennett’s poem in class I was all in. Going into the Belk, I had high expectations. To be honest, I was not unimpressed, for he was one of the most descriptive, eloquent poets I have ever heard.I must admit that some of the vocabulary he used was too advanced for me and caused me to get a little confused. The poems he recited at Belk were all relatable to my life. One topic Joshua talked about was the struggles in today’s society that african americans have to go through;however, instead of complaining about it he used his poetry to inform and uplift us. One poem that stuck with me was the poem about having a heart the size of a whale . I cant quite remember the name of it , but that poem was about being in love with someone and accepting everything they have to offer. It made me think to myself , ” Wow, there is love out there that is like that . That must be an amazing feeling .” Joshua Bennett made my first visiting writers series a memorable and amazing one , and I will be sure to go to more.

Wanting the Best

Typically, parents want the best for their children; however, children do not typically see it like this. In the short story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, this was the main conflict between the mother and Jing Mei, the daughter. This conflict between the mother and daughter gave two relatable points of view of the everyday relationship between parents and their children.

Jing Mei’s mother came to America to get a new start from the life she left behind in China. Coming to America gave Jing Mei’s mother the hope she needed to believe that her daughter could be anything, so the daughter went from being Shirley Temple, an expert trivia answerer, and lastly a pianist. In the story, this was one of the many arguments that arose because Jing Mei did not see her mother’s point of view while becoming a pianist:

“Why don’t you like me the way I am?” I cried.
“I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And even if I could, I
wouldn’t go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!” My
mother slapped me. ”
Who ask you to be genius?” she shouted. “Only ask you be your
best. For you sake. You think I want you to be genius? Hnnh!
What for! Who ask you!” (824)

In this quotes, the mother clearly states to her daughter she does not want her to be something she is not, which is a genius. The mother always had faith in Jing Mei and only wanted the daughter to be the best she could be at anything she did; however, because the daughter was so stubborn and angry she did not see it that way. Instead of really understanding and seeing what her mother wants, she goes through life doing everything the opposite of what her mother wants her to.

Looking into the daughter’s point of view gives a better perspective. The daughter is growing up in the United States. The mother was an immigrant from China who lost everything including a set of twin baby girls. The cultures of these two places are completely different, thus causing a conflict between the mother and daughter. Culture clashes are a universal problem amongst all children and parents. For example, in the generation today, they have way more technology than their parents did. This creates a problem because parents sometimes do not seem to understand why children today always need to have some type of technology in their hand. Social barriers like these cause problems between any parent and child, and could have been the case for Jing Mei as a child. As an adult however, Jing Mei finally accepts believing that the mother was right all along, for Jing Mei could do anything. Unfortunately, this leads back to realizing things to late. In Jing Mei’s case, she realized that her mother was right three months after she died.

This story is relatable because no parent wants to see his or her child struggle. As a child it may seem like your parents are pushing you way too hard for something that is not achievable, just as Jing Mei did. When becoming an adult, children will see what their parents were trying to do. Sometimes when they realize it, it may be too late to thank their parents. “Two Kinds” is a story that gives two universal points of view between parents and children. At the end of the day, parents really just want the best for their children. As children grow up, they may not realize that and have to go through some conflicts, but eventually they will see from their parent’s point of view.
Works Cited
Tan, Amy. “Two Kinds.” The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 821-29.