American Literature

American Literature



American Literature

            Desiree Baby by Kate Chopin and Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins are pieces of literature with unique plot development, characters, symbols and themes (Baym and Levine, 2012). Desiree Baby has characters famed from a French origin, as Madame Valmonde, Armand Aubigny, Desiree, Zandrine, and LA Blanche are the main developers of the plot. The story focuses on Madame Valmonde’s discovery of an abandoned child as she makes it her own, due to her condition of not having her own. The story is set during the period before war and takes place in Louisiana. Yellow Wallpaper the narrator and her husband, John, form the basis of the story. It talks of the seclusion at their estate over summer as the narrator suffers temporary nervous depression.

            The themes covered in Desiree Baby by Kate Chopin include gender and identity as it reflected on the female perspective. It was reminiscent of the late nineteenth century. The society as well as class and race, love and desire, life, and death depict opposition to social norms at length with the issues regarding morals. In Yellow Wallpaper, the themes highlighted include freedom and confinement depicted by the narrator’s observation within the room. Others include madness, gender, society, and class as well as literature and writing. The main symbol in Yellow Wallpaper is the narrator’s drive of the wallpaper as an interpretation that she has to make. After its development from being ripped, soiled and unclean, it changes to depiction of a life form. In Desiree Baby by Kate Chopin, the thought-of abandoned child forms the symbol basis for the narration. It becomes the main concept of ideas at the particular period of stifled patriarchy within the contemporary society.


 Baym, N., & Levine, R. S. (2012). The Norton anthology of American literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

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