Jailed and Stuck
Desiree knows she must believe and follow her marriage vows of ?honor, obey, and respect.? When Armand listens to
to be ?the sheriff?s wife? and ?married to the law? (Glaspell 65). She is unimportant and belonging to the sheriff more like
Hale, ?But Mrs. Hale, the law is the law? (61). Her husband makes the law for everyone and for her. She does not question
obeys him and ends up changing her whole lifestyle. The other husbands? wives notice her change saying ?she used to wear
pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that?oh, that was
declares himself, who is of nobility and master of the plantation by gender not to be the one tainted with the inferior
bloodline. This only leaves Desiree, who does not really know her background. However, it does not matter. Desiree, being
make fun of the women. When the women are talking about the fruit, the sheriff says, ?Well, can you beat the women! Held
for murder and worryin? about her preserves? (58). Mr. Hale also says, ?Well, women are used to worrying over trifles,?
thoughts, are the ones who actually figure out the how, who, and why of the murder. Because of the women?s gender, the men
talk about their lives and responsibilities. Mrs. Hale finishes the loaf of bread ?in a manner of returning to familiar things?
(59). Mrs. Peters says, ?she (Mrs. Wright) wanted an apron,? ?to make her feel more natural? (60). Mrs. Hale then
comments about ?trying to get her own (Mrs. Wright?s) house to turn against her? (61). The wives comment on ?piecing a
quilt? and ?worrying about her bottles of fruit? (64). All of these comments suggest that all the wives did was housework.
Even the County Attorney remarks on how Mrs. Wright was ?not much of a housekeeper? and how she did not ?have the
homemaking instinct? (59). Later when Mrs. Peters leaves he ?picks up the apron, and laughs? (65). These remarks intensify
the feeling that the husbands thought of their wives as homemakers. In addition, the reader gets the feeling that the wives had
(59). Mrs. Peters remarks ?you were awful busy, Mrs. Hale?your house and your children? (62). Mrs. Hale mentions ?I?ve
not seen much of her of late years? (59). One can conclude that the wives do all the work around the house and raise the
children with not much spare time left over for them. This conveys to the husbands the feeling that Minnie Foster could not
have had time to commit the murder. Yet, the women, who see all of the tasks half done, feel that Mrs. Wright suddenly had
to do something right then in her busy day. In ?Desiree?s Baby,? one sees that Armand, the husband, is in charge of all the
work. Chopin writes that ?Young Aubigny?s rule was a strict one, too, and under it his negroes had forgotten to be gay?
quadroon boys stood fanning the child slowly with a fan of peacock feathers? (358). Desiree is restricted to childbearing
and raising their child. Even Desiree?s mother urges her, ?to come back to your mother who loves you. Come with your
child? (359). In this day, the wives did this and nothing more than was expected of them. All of the above stated qualities
about marriage lead to one conclusion–the wives of this time were inferior to their husband counterparts. Today, in a
marriage, the wife and the husband are closer to equal. Today, more women have well-paying jobs that allow them to share
in the support of the family expenses. Today, the thoughts that women are inferior because of their gender are all but gone.
more independent and self-sufficient that sometimes they do not marry or if they do, they adjust their marriage vows
accordingly. Since so much has changed with the times, the types of marriages portrayed in these stories are almost totally
Susan Glaspell speak out against the inferiority of women in these marriages. They each lived close to the time of their
stories and therefore could get a great deal of input by looking at other marriages and maybe their own. They both show that
the women were essentially belittled and not taken seriously. In the case of Desiree in ?Desiree?s Baby,? this is because of
positions, and marriage. For the period that these authors lived in, the disparaging of women was commonplace. The authors
Chopin, Kate. ?Desiree?s Baby.? Literary Culture: Reading and Writing Literary Arguments. Editor L. Bensel-Meyers.
Massachusetts: Simon & Schuster Custom Publishing, 1999. 356-360.