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In literally works, it is a common practice by authors to use imagery, symbolism, and figurative language to present nature vividly to the readers. In the book a heron, there is good representation of nature to a satisfactory extent. Kate Chopin's baby Desiree, use of figurative language is effectively applied to appealed to the reader on certain aspects of nature. This essay is a comparison of how the two books have present nature to the reader (University microfilms, 2009 pg 42).
At her young age, the character Sylvia is in the city and moves to live with her grandmother at her residence. Since she is not used to the setting at her grandmother's place, she is doing her best to adapt to the new changes. She helps the old woman by taking over some of the more physical chores, such as finding Mistress Molly, the cow, each evening in the fields where she grazes and bringing her home. By means of this and other tasks, along with her explorations in the forest, Sylvia has become a country girl who dearly loves her new home. She has taken to it easily and immerses herself in her new life completely, as evidenced by the description of her journey home each evening with the cow: but their feet were familiar with the path, and it was no matter whether their eyes could see it or not. One evening she is approached by a hunter, who is in the area looking for birds to shoot and preserve for his collection. This young man is searching in particular for the rare white heron and he is sure that it makes its nest in the vicinity. He accompanies Sylvia on her way with hopes of spending the night at her grandmother's house.
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Once he has received this invitation, he makes himself at home, and after they eat, he says that he will give a sum of money to anyone who can lead him to the white heron. The next day Sylvia accompanies the hunter into the forest as he searches for the bird's nest, but he does not find it. Early the following morning, the girl decides to go out and look for the bird by herself so that she can be sure of showing the hunter its exact location when he awakes. She decides to climb the tallest tree in the forest so that she can see the entire countryside, and she finds the heron, just as she had thought she would. However, Sylvia is so affected by her treetop observation of the heron and other wildlife that she cannot bring herself to disclose the heron's location to the hunter after all, despite his entreaties. Sylvia knows that she would be awarded much-needed money for directing him to the heron, but she decides that she cannot play any part in bringing about the bird's death. The hunter eventually departs without his prize. As Sylvia grows older she is haunted by the idea of what she gave up that day, and in the last paragraph of the story, Jewett, as omniscient observer, urges nature to reward her for her selflessness by offering her its secret (University microfilms, 2009 pg78).
The young girl finds her comfort in nature, she and her grandmother takes good care of the cow. She has dignity to her sexuality, as it is evident in the incidence she encountered with the hunter. However, in dire need, the high temptation did not overwhelm her. She nd her grandmother are humble, gentle, and comfortable, yet living a poor life. Along comes the male hunter from the city to threaten their daily easy-going life style. This could possibly change their lives and upset the tranquility of nature (University microfilms, 2009 pg 74).
In the domestic space, women know of their role and take on them respectively. Sylvia begins to understand what it means to have maturity and to overcome her selfishness as a child. Her innocence in putting the heron first before taking money shows how, in a short time, Sylvia has grown. However, she continues with an innocent goal of placing more value on the wonderful bird than on money. The Power of nature proved to be much greater for her. Many people would have given away the location of the bird and taken the money. In addition, her relationship with nature was much stronger than any human connections she had up to this point in her life, and she knows she receives more satisfaction from nature than from the money she could have received from the hunter. The white is a pure symbol of virginity. The cow, the heron are symbols of natural life (Carolyn Cartier &Alan Lew, 2005 pg 82).
In the story of Kate Chopin's Desiree's baby there is a clear indication of her willingness to express she felt need to address. One of the greatest examples of that willingness that Chopin wanted to express was presented in the short story "Desiree's Baby." In this story, it not only confronts the racial issues that took place during the time of slavery but also draws upon the reader's emotions to experience how people thought during that time period. Kate Chopin brought attention to the racial issues that existed during the times of slavery through her short story "Desiree's Baby" which introduces the two main characters in the story, Desiree and Armand, and creates many symbolisms, ironies, and themes seen throughout the story (Carolyn Cartier &Alan Lew, 2005 pg 45).
Armand and Desiree are the two main characters that are talked about in the story "Desiree's Baby." Even though the story begins with Desiree's mother telling the story, the story quickly switches over to the thoughts and actions of Desiree as well as her husband Armand. Armand is a dynamic character in the story, for he undergoes a change by the end of the story. He is the only one who reaches an epiphany at the end of the story when he discovers the facts of his mother's origin, and that he is in fact part black. Robert D. Arner, a critic, comments, "Armand is a willful and headstrong character. Armand is also defined by both his actions and by the images clustered around him. Desiree, who is the other main character in the story, is Armand's wife as well as mother to their child. Desiree, in contrast to her husband, is a flat character.
She is consistent with her emotions and feelings toward Armand throughout the story. Even though she is deeply hurt and shocked by Armand's reaction and behavior towards the fact that their baby is black, she still loves him at the end of the story just as she did in the beginning. She is the protagonist in the story because she is the one character who does not react poorly to the fact that her baby is black. Unlike Armand, who commpletely blows the whole situation out of proportion, Desiree is not the one who has the problem. She is presented with the problem or conflict, and is not responsible for creating it. Desiree is also defined by her actions and by the images clustered around her (Carolyn Cartier &Alan Lew, 2005 pg 64).
There are many symbols seen throughout the story "Desiree's Baby." The first major symbolism seen continuously throughout the story is that of light and dark. Armand represents darkness while Desiree represents lightness. A critic, Robert D. Arner, points out, "Armand is associated with darkness from the outset. His estate is a place of terror and his house inspires fear. Robert D. Arner also concludes that the color yellow is symbolic in the way it is used in the story. The plantation that Armand owns is yellow, as is Sandrine, the baby's nurse, and La Blanche and her son who are black. This goes back to the original symbolism that Armand is associated with darkness or the black slaves who are described in the story as being yellow. Armand's reaction and personality are also symbolic. According to another critic, Barbara Well, "His passions are instant and furious: he falls in love 'as if struck by a pistol shot,' his passion sweeps along 'like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over obstacles (Carolyn Cartier &Alan Lew, 2005 pg 92).
There is symbolism in the way that he also reacts to the baby being black. He is rash and he burns all of Desiree's belongings in a bonfire omen weeks later" after she leaves the house. His personality is symbolic in the way that he doesn't always know everything before he makes a decision, so this basically shows that he goes by impulse, and the reader expects him to act rashly when he realizes that the baby is black (Carolyn Cartier &Alan Lew, 2005 pg 56).
Irony plays a big part in the story.
At the end of the story, Kate Chopin leaves the reader with information regarding Armand in the form of a letter that his mother wrote. She wrote night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged [her and her husband's] lives that [her and her husband's dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery. This reveals the truth that Armand is the one who is black and likely not Desiree. It is also ironic that while he had destroyed Desiree's life that he also in fact ruined his as well because he lost his wife, lost his baby, and lost his important self-image, for he claimed that he had one of the best names in Louisiana. The way that the characters are described is also ironic. Critic Cynthia Griffin Wolff says, "In the end, only Armand's skin is genuinely colored-a 'dark, handsome face' While Armand is portrayed that way, Desiree is surrounded by whiteness. Arner points out examples of Desiree being surrounded by whiteness. At the end, the reader is left with an image of Desiree wearing a thin white garment. Kate Chopin also has Desiree confront Armand about her skin color saying "Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand". These ironies all lead the reader to the actual truth, but then again try to mislead the reader at the same time.
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