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Analysis of Role of Storytelling in Short Story “Desiree’s Baby”

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Through the role of storytelling, an enduring text invites the audiences to challenge the previously held assumptions and beliefs of ourselves and the world at large whilst igniting new ideas on the true nature of the individual and collective human experiences. Anthony Doerr’s 2014 novel All the Light We Cannot See reveals the individual’s resilience in the face of collective oppression. Kate Chopin’s 1893 short story “Desiree’s Baby” highlights individual’s powerless resilience in response to the restrictive views and prejudice. Therefore, the art of storytelling allows us to challenge assumptions on the collective oppression belittling an individual and the role of women in marriage whilst igniting ideas on the individual’s resilience in response to conflict.

When individuals are inflicted with obstacles beyond their control, quite often their search for hope and resilience will ultimately prevail. All the Light We Cannot See explores the omniscient third person view of the main protagonists Marie-Laure and Werner, and their resilience in response to the oppressive Nazi regime in WW2. The anomalistic individual experience of Marie-Laure losing her vision is paradoxical as she sensed the rising war, “she can smell gasoline under the wind.” The olfactory imagery emphasises her valiance against war ultimately challenging the assumptions of the blind and society belittling an individual. Marie-Laure’s curiosity and obsession with the book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea catalyses the resilience in her. “The sea does not belong to tyrants” her allusion critiques the corruption of war ultimately igniting new ideas on the power of individual resilience. Werner’s curiosity with the saying “Open your eyes, and see what you can with them before they close forever” the high modality of the recurring motif emphasises on Werner’s willingness to live beyond the boundaries of the oppressive Nazis, ultimately challenging our assumptions of the collective overpowering an individual. Therefore, Doerr’s art of storytelling challenges our preconceived assumptions of society disparaging an individual ultimately igniting the idea of the power of resilience in the face of collective oppression.

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When individuals are marginalised for their background and social status, ultimately the prejudicial oppression would overpower their resilience. Desiree’s Baby challenges assumptions on the role of women in marriage of the 19th century ultimately igniting new ideas on the individual’s limited resilience in the face of oppressive collective views. Armand married Desiree ignoring her unknown family history as he believed that “she was nameless”. The irony challenges our assumptions on the role of women in marriage, ultimately igniting the new ideas of the individual’s restricted resilience in the face of the the collective views. Discovering that their baby was black, Armand dismissed Desiree, “She disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the banks of the deep.” The use of metaphor reveals the inconsistencies in human behaviour ultimately emphasises the idea on the vulnerability of Desiree as a ramification of her background. Chopin’s plot twist reveals Armand’s black ancestry, his mother “belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.” The paradox explores the individual’s powerless resilience towards the tyrannical collective views on race, as Armand hid his background. Therefore Chopin’s storytelling challenges our assumptions on the role of women in marriage whilst igniting new ideas on the individuals limit to resilience as a ramification of prejudicial oppression.

Therefore, the role of storytelling allows us to challenge assumptions on the collective oppression belittling an individual and the role of women in marriage, ultimately ignites new ideas on resilience in the face of conflict. Doerr explores the power of individual’s resilience whilst Chopin reveals the limit of an individual’s resilience in the face of prejudicial oppression. Therefore revealing the true nature of humanity and individuals natural instinct to survive.

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Analysis of Role of Storytelling in Short Story “Desiree’s Baby”. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-role-of-storytelling-in-short-story-desirees-baby/
“Analysis of Role of Storytelling in Short Story “Desiree’s Baby”.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-role-of-storytelling-in-short-story-desirees-baby/
Analysis of Role of Storytelling in Short Story “Desiree’s Baby”. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-role-of-storytelling-in-short-story-desirees-baby/> [Accessed 30 Jan. 2023].
Analysis of Role of Storytelling in Short Story “Desiree’s Baby” [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 14 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-role-of-storytelling-in-short-story-desirees-baby/
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