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DISCUSS WOMEN'S POSITION IN THE 19TH CENTURY AS POTRAYED BY TWO SHORT STORIES, COMPARE AND CONTRAST. 'The Necklace' and 'Desiree's Baby', are both short stories. In the 19th century short stories were a popular form of art, because they were a convenient way for writers to put across their views. They were used as a medium to entertain, and comment on human nature. Which is similar to 'Desiree's Baby', a woman with no origin, but her beauty is left to fit into a southern American society, where a lot is expected from women. Women in the 19th century did not have the same social opportunities as many women today. Wealthy women, with money for a dowry, could expect to marry well; also it was easier for them to live in Deep South Alabama, and in France. This was the case in 'The Necklace'. Mme Loisel, who is the heroine, without dowry settles for a middle-class man. But for poor women, they found life difficult in places, like France and could expect to marry badly. In 19th century Alabama, many rich people were salve owners which meant racial prejudice, against black people were high, this is one of the themes explored in 'Desiree's Baby'. Guy de Maupassant, in his story deals with women's position in society, and the great diversity between the social classes. Similar to Maupassant, Kate Chopin deals with roles of women in society, and prejudice shown by whites to other races. ...read more.


The similarity is that they both want to fit into their social order. Whereas Desiree kills herself because she cannot face society, however Mme Loisel is prepared to do whatever it takes to recover her dignity. So, it could be argued that Mme Loisel is the stronger of the two. Chopin shows that, Desiree's love for Armand is more anxious because of the fact that she has no origin. Desiree by the end of the story, shows desperation to keep her husband "Look at my hand whiter than yours," signs that she is desperate for his love. She wants to prove herself to him in return for his love, but his reputation is far more important to him "Because of the shame she has brought upon his home and his name," her feelings are not vital to him. Chopin shows that women have to prove themselves to their husbands before they can be loved and that they are in desperate need of happiness. "I'm so happy, it frightens me." The use of paradox shows that when the women are happy, there is an aspect of denial. It's almost as if good things shouldn't happen to them. Armand is not too bothered that she was nameless because according to him, he could give her "one of the proudest in Louisiana." He will now automatically own her because his name is now hers. Thus having power over her. Kate Chopin shows Armand to be a proud person, therefore was able to control Desiree "yes go." ...read more.


The evidence provided in 'Desiree's baby', shows that a lot of our compassion should be fixed on Desiree because Mme loisel bought her ill-fated event upon her. Desiree is not to be blamed because of her husband's callousness Armand's prejudice against race made him lose everything. Ironically he was the black one and not Desiree "our dear Armand will never know that his mother who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery". Moreover, her biological parents who abandoned her caused her a lot of misery "she had no origin. Although she has her beauty, except she had no background, so she needed love, but the love she wanted was desperate. She married a bad person, to her; he is opposite. Desiree goes through a lot, which is why Chopin wants us to show compassion for her; also, she hopes the world will learn what their faults can do to people. Overall, both authors are sending a message to the world that equality in our society is very important, whatever race it is, or any gender; we should be less discriminative, racist, and prejudice, but more tolerance in acceptance. I feel sorry for Desiree, because to be wrongly accused is wrong, especially if it's against race. Desiree didn't deserve to die, although in the 19th century race was a bigger issue then, than it was now. Today more people are tolerant towards each others culture, and race. Society today has improved, but there is always need for equality if not within society, but within the world. ...read more.

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