The story by Kate Chopin revolves around a character known as Désirée Valmondé. The family of Valmondé adopted her when she was abandoned by the roadside. The adoptive parents loved her. Later, she fell in love with Armand, a man from a wealthy family. Because of the immense love that Armand had for Désirée, he does not bother to find out her real origin. After some time, she gets pregnant, and they have a baby.
At first, Armand was delighted by the arrival of the baby. However, the skin soon began showing that it was from a black descent. That does not augur well with Armand. His feeling is that Désirée may have descended from a black family. He begins to grow cold towards Désirée and the baby.
Armand had always been known as someone who displayed much pride, exuded arrogance, and mistreated the slaves. At that point, he decides to confront Désirée. She says she is not from African descent. Désirée then writes a letter to Madame Valmondé to help her out. In her response, Madame Valmondé tells Désirée to return to the estate owned by Valmondé. Unfortunately, the letter fails to get to Désirée at the right time.
Because of his scornful nature, Armand fails to understand Désirée’s situation. He directs Désirée to leave with her baby immediately. Because Désirée did not receive the letter from Madame Valmondé, she assumes she is unwanted at the home of Valmondé. The only option she has is to walk with the baby to an unknown land. No one sees the two ever again.
With Désirée now out of the picture, Armand embarks on a mission to get rid of her belongings by burning. He burns everything including the cradle that belonged to the baby and all the letters she received from Désirée during their courting years. There is one letter that he finds in the bundle that stands out. It is the one that Désirée wrote to Armand’s father disclosing that Désirée originated from blacks through the lineage. However, her specific origin is not revealed.
Even though the book is set in the old Louisiana, the story touches on issues that are fundamental to date. The predominant theme is the problem of racism that blacks are still facing today. Even though Armand loved Désirée, the discovery that she might have a black origin changes things completely.