"Desiree's "Baby" is a short story of love, prejudice and rejection, a story with a gracious beginning that slowly turns to reveal an uglier side of human relations. The social ideology in "Desiree's Baby" is powerful and dangerous and holds no escape for any character. Armand, Desiree, and their child hold a degree of power based on race, and family background (Esposito 1). Armand, in particular, is confronted with a family secret that has been hidden from him. A secret that has caused a great deal of scandal among his household, and its consequences run deep into the fabric of society. It crosses the line into the covert world of mixed ancestry and causes him a great deal of inner controversy. The significance of Armand's situation is what makes us focus on the many tragic and ironic decisions made by him throughout the story. .
One of the major aspects of Armand in this story is his unpredictability. First, he fell in love and married a girl whom he had known since he was eight, the young Desiree. Their marriage was only a supplement to the changing of his moods. It caused him to go back and forth in how he decided to treat his own slaves. "Marriage, and later the birth of his son had softened Armand Aubigny's imperious and exacting nature greatly" (James 64). His marriage with Desiree was a victim of his own urges because he imposed his will on his slaves as well as on her (Elfenbein 126).
When Armand married Desiree she was someone whom he thought others would envy; this is what caught his attention. He was considered the blue blood-with a "name", "that was one of the oldest and proudest in the whole of Louisiana" and Desiree was the adopted child with "obscure origins"(Esposito 1). "He was reminded that she was nameless. What did it matter about a name- (James 63).
The social placement of his family was what was very important in society's idea of status during this time; the "purity" had to be kept.