Desiree's Baby Narcissism

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Carl Jung describes a marriage as a chemical reaction. In chemistry, two reactants can mix together, the question, however, is if they will. To determine the outcome of the reaction, a chemist needs to analyze certain factors. Marriage is analogous to this. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances” (Carl Jung). If a marriage has the right amount of heat and the right amount of stirring, a marriage will survive and thrive. However, if a marriage does not have the preceding, and instead contains sources of repulsion, then the marriage will fail. In "Desiree's Baby", Chopin portrays the destructive impact narcissism and patriarchal love has on a marriage. Desiree is dependent on Armand's patriarchal love…show more content…
Patriarchal love is categorized as an idealized love. Armand fell in love with Desiree when he saw her sitting under the "shadow of a big stone pillar." This suggests Desiree's low self-esteem and her need for a leading figure. As a baby, at night she would "cry for dada," hoping that she would have a fatherly figure to look up to. When she met Armand, strong and independent, she created him to be an idealized figure of what she lacked in her life. Therefore, they married. Armand needed someone to control and Desiree needed someone to control her. When Desiree had a child, the control changed. The child became "a boy, to bear his (Armand's) name" and another person to be under his control. Armand "absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence. He was scared that his reputation would be damaged if people saw his child. Desiree thought Armand's distance was her fault; "When he…show more content…
Armand is a human being purely mad with malevolent narcissism. Meaning, Armand’s excessive pride stemmed from a total concern for his image and his reputation. When Desiree’s mother came to visit, Desiree could not stop talking about how much Armand was proud of the baby. She believed it was “chiefly because it is a boy, to bear his name; though he (Armand) says not- that he would have loved a girl as well.” Desiree was correct. The baby served as a channel Armand to flaunt his pride. When Desiree realizes the child is black and shares it with Armand, he insults her and blames her. She responds by telling him to “look at (her) hand; whiter than yours (Armand’s),” but he’s not willing to listen. He tells her that her hands are “as white as Le Blanches.” Le Blanche was Armand's mistress. If the information of their relationship were to be revealed, Armand’s reputation would be ruined. Therefore, when he said to Desiree that her hand was similar to Le Blanche’s, he was suggesting that his wife and his child would also have the capability of destroying his reputation. Furthermore, due to his purely narcissistic mind, he deliberately says to Desiree, “I want you to go.” He officially destroys his marriage. Desiree leaves with their son, only leaving behind belongings that Armand burns. When searching for more things to burn, Armand comes upon a letter from his mother thanking G-d that he

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