Désirée’s Baby

La Blanche Character Analysis

One of Armand’s slaves. La Blanche is mentioned several times in the short story in ways that imply a sexual relationship between her and Armand. Armand visits her cabin, and her child’s resemblance to the baby is what causes Désirée to realize his black heritage. It is suggested that La Blanche’s skin is as white as Armand’s or Désirée’s, which of course makes the idea of racial hierarchy and separation that motivates Armand’s actions and Désirée’s suicide seem even more ridiculous and artificial.

La Blanche Quotes in Désirée’s Baby

The Désirée’s Baby quotes below are all either spoken by La Blanche or refer to La Blanche. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet Classics edition of Désirée’s Baby published in 1976.
Désirée’s Baby Quotes

One of La Blanche’s little quadroon boys—half naked too— stood fanning the child slowly with a fan of peacock feathers. Désirée’s eyes had been fixed absently and sadly upon the baby, while she was striving to penetrate the threatening mist that she felt closing about her. She looked from her child to the boy who stood beside him, and back again; over and over. “Ah!” It was a cry that she could not help; which she was not conscious of having uttered. The blood turned like ice in her veins, and a clammy moisture gathered upon her face.

Related Characters: Désirée, Baby, La Blanche
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

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“It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair,” seizing his wrist. “Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand,” she laughed hysterically.
“As white as La Blanche’s,” he returned cruelly; and went away leaving her alone with their child.

Related Characters: Désirée (speaker), Armand (speaker), Baby, La Blanche
Page Number: 192-193
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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La Blanche Character Timeline in Désirée’s Baby

The timeline below shows where the character La Blanche appears in Désirée’s Baby. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Désirée’s Baby
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
Intersection of Classism, Sexism, and Racism Theme Icon
...baby’s cry is very loud, so loud her husband heard him “as far away as La Blanche ’s cabin.” (full context)
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
Intersection of Classism, Sexism, and Racism Theme Icon
Love and Blindness Theme Icon
...on her bed, which appears like an extravagant throne with its satin canopy. One of La Blanche ’s boys is fanning the baby using peacock feathers. Désirée stares at her baby and... (full context)
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
Intersection of Classism, Sexism, and Racism Theme Icon
...it is fair, and even whiter than his own. Armand responds bitterly, “as white as La Blanche ’s,” and leaves the room. (full context)