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Desiree’s Baby and Battle Royal: Character Comparison Essay

Reasons the main characters in Desiree’s baby and Battle Royal choose different paths to solve their problems Racism has deterred many Africans from living happily, for from the two given stories we saw that one took her own life for that and the other had to suffer all the cruelty and inequality of the whites in order to continue his academic life. In the stories, our main characters had both chosen different paths, solutions to their problem. The reasons that lead to this dissimilarity were that both of them were different people with different stands in society and also their situations were not alike.

As a woman, Desiree’s joy in life lied in her happy family yet she was deserted by her own husband. Armand’s treatment towards Desiree made her became miserable and so when she left with the child, she had nothing to live for. Armand and Desiree were very much in love at the beginning of the story and Desiree could not cope without him. Desiree did not understand what she had done but she felt guilty. Armand thought that she had betrayed him that she was an unfaithful wife. The change in Armand’s attitude towards his wife affected Desiree and due to this she killed herself and her child.

On the other hand, our young African-American narrator was a slave. He was and always has been an obedient slave who believed if he worked hard enough the white community would accept him. Thus, through all the abuse and after being treated as an entertainment, he still held on to his speech the one thing he was firmed of. And in the end, though he was very confused if his grandfather’s words were true he had to go continue his academic life first, which left him in a crossroad.

Furthermore, Desiree was adopted by a well-respected family and also she married Armand who was also from a wealthy family, which put a lot of pressure on her to be a perfect woman. So when her husband falsely accused her of being black, she was confused since it went against everything she had been in her whole life: good, kind, and pure. She was shocked to see happiness taken away from her so easily and also to see that she had became a humiliation to her husband’s and her own family. That also is why she chose death as her solution. In contrast to Desiree the narrator’s family in Battle Royal were all slaves. They were not ashamed of it.

They believed in “Equal but separate. ”, they always taught their kids to be good and their good deed will be rewarded. This point was proven when white people gave the narrator a scholarship. At that point he had caught glimpses of the cruelty of the white society but still he was very grateful for that scholarship hence, it blindfolded him from the real truth. Moreover, Desiree chose death for herself because she thought she had nothing left to live for in this world, she was treated like an outcast. Of course we can argue that she had to live for her baby, but in the end she did what she did to save both of them.

She was scared and she knew for sure that in this society no one would accept her baby. She did not want her child to go through what she had thus ending both of their lives was the easiest choice. However, our narrator in Battle Royal, not like Desiree, he had a choice. He could go to college be an obedient African-American like he was and everything would stay perfectly fine. He could have a life and he was not going to throw that rare opportunity away which is why his choice of path was not remotely as same as Desiree’s in the other short story. In conclusion, our characters had unraveled their problems through different ways.

Desiree chose to commit suicide and our narrator in Battle Royal continued with his life though he was unsure what he should do. They chose differently because they were different person, they came from different society class at that time, and their problems were not the same. But in the end, Desiree and the African-American narrator were both victims of racism which were portrayed differently in both of our short stories but still were saying in Desiree’s case what tragic did racism brought and in our young narrator’s case that how racism can be covered with the sentence “Equal but separate. ”


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