The short story Désireé's Baby by Kate Chopin is about a young woman's struggle with prejudice and racism in a mid 19th century American plantation. Using narrative techniques the authors positions us to respond in a desired way to the values and attitudes shown through the characters and events of the story.
The style of writing the author has used, third person sympathetic is one way in which she is guiding us in our responses to the characters and events throughout the story. By using the point of view known as third person sympathetic we are told the story from the main characters, Désirée's, point of view and we are told her thoughts directly however we only see the other characters as Désirée sees them. We must gather our information about them, such as their mood and thoughts, through the eyes of Désirée. This is demonstrated in the following exert.
"And the way he cries,"" Went on Désirée, "Is deafening. Armand heard him the other day as far away as La Blanche's cabin."".
Madame Valdamondé had never removed her eyes from the child. She lifted it and walked with it over to the window that was lightest.
The mood of the story changes dramatically about half way through. It stats off sounding like a love story with many happy times retold, Fell in love as if struck by a pistol shot. This makes us, the reader, happy and tells us of the love Désireé and Armand share. However the mood changes entirely almost in one sentence, "There was something in the air, menacing her peace."" The author is foreshadowing a dark presence, making us feel anxious to find out what it is that's causing this feeling but also scared because of the way it's written, it almost makes us feel the presence it is describing which positions us better, making it easier for us to relate to the main character.
The main character, Désireé is introduced to us through the recounting of her arrival to Valmondé estate by Madame Valmondé.