The Awakening Desiree?s Baby Discussion Questions Where was Desiree found? The gateway of Valmondé behind a stone pillar. What was the prevailing belief of who left the baby? A part of Texans dropped her off there. How old was Desiree when Armand fell in love with her? 18 years old. How did Armand rule the plantation before he married Desiree? Shortly after he married her? Why do you think there is a change in his treatment of the slaves? He was first cruel and harsh, but turned light and happy after his marriage. He found passion and happiness with Desiree and it reflected in everything he did. When they first met, how did Armand feel about Desiree not having ?a name?? (Her background unknown). What does this show about Armand?s character? He told Desiree he didn?t care, and that he?d give her his, a very well known family name. It shows he loves her so much that he doesn?t care about ethnicity or her past. What was Madame Valmondé?s reaction when she saw the baby? Why did she take it to the window? (Note the references to light/white) What is the irony; what is she thinking and what is Desiree thinking? Madame Valmondé?s first reaction was that it wasn?t Desiree?s baby. She took it to the window to see him more clearly. She is thinking that the baby is black, Desiree is thinking that he has grown. Desiree does not even notice the baby?s skin color. Desiree states that she is so happy that ?it frightens her?. Why do you think the author included this? The author included this to show that Desiree was unconditionally happy, but knew something bad was going to occur. It foreshadows that something is wrong. Desiree is very submissive to her husband. Give at least two examples (find the exact lines from the story) ?When he frowned, she trembled, but loved him? and ?You want me to go?? ?Yes, I want you to go?. When the baby is 3 months old what begins to happen on the plantation/why were ?far off visitors? coming to the plantation? The slaves began running away with the underground railroad helpers coming to take them to freedom. Explain how/when Desiree realizes that her child is not white? She realizes her child is not white when he is sleeping in her white bed. She had started to feel something was wrong with the child before hand, but could not figure out what until that moment. How does Armand treat Desiree when he thinks that the child is not white? Give specific examples. Cruel and cold. ?Armand,? she called to him, in a voice which must have stabbed him, if he was human. But he did not notice. Moreover he no longer loved her? Where does Desiree go when she leaves Armand? (What is the author saying, essentially, of what she is doing to herself and the child?) Why does she not return to her mother?s home? Desiree carries her baby through the field to the forest. She is essentially shunning herself away from society, ashamed of her inferior race. She does not return to her mother?s home because she feels so ashamed. What does Armand do with Desiree?s possessions after she leaves? Why? He burns all of her possessions to show dramatic reaction to her race to clear his family name that he gave to a black woman. What is the dramatic irony at the end of the story? Armand finds a letter from his mother to his father that reveals that she was black. It is Armand?s genes that carried on to the black baby, not Desiree?s. Did/didn?t Armand know his mother was black? Support your conclusions on specifics from the story? No, he didn?t know his mother was black. First of all, he wouldn?t have banished Desiree knowing that it was his genes, not hers that were inferior, he loved her too much. Second, when he found the letter, it read ?But above all, night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother; who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.?
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