Comparing Short Stories - Kate Chopin and Ernest Hemingway Book Review

This paper compares Kate Chopin's short story "Desiree's Baby" to Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants."
# 150499 | 848 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Feb 26, 2012 in Literature (American) , Women Studies (Women and Society)

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This paper analyzes, compares and contrasts two short stories by American writers, the first being Kate Chopin's short story "Desiree's Baby" in relation to Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants." First, the paper describes the major themes in Chopin's story, citing the use of times and social isolation in the main character, Desiree. It also considers the use of irony in the story, particularly as it relates to race. Next, the paper explores Hemingway's story, "Hills like White Elephants", noting that it also has a strong ironic element. According to the paper, both stories deal with gender issues and their irony. The paper concludes by stating that although Kate Chopin's story belongs to the 19th century and Ernest Hemingway's to the 21st century, men continue to have opinions on the issues dominating the female gender in both these time-periods.

From the Paper:

"In the second major irony Chopin elucidates how an individual suffers for no fault of his own and how the prevailing bias in the society affects him. Desiree probably owns the Caucasian blood, and she and her innocent baby face the social indictment of miscegenation, whereas mixed-race Armand Aubigny is weighed on a different scale of justice and he has nothing to worry about his racial descent or for cruel disposition to his wife. Her anguish is showing and Kate Chopin writes, "A quick conception of all that this accusation meant for her nerved her with unwonted courage to deny it. '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." (290) Misfortunes arrive in a lot, as would be seen from the fact that the presumed European ancestry of Desiree places her above the slave class as per the social order acceptable in Louisiana, but being white alone is not adequate to elevate her to the class matching that of the Armand."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chopin, Kate. "Desiree's Baby." Awakening and Selected Short Stories. (The Floating Press, 2009). 283-293 February 13, 2012
  • Hemingway, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants." Portable Legacies: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction. Eds. Schmidt, Jan and Crockett, Lynn. (Boston: Wadson 2009). 611-615.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Comparing Short Stories - Kate Chopin and Ernest Hemingway (2012, February 26) Retrieved November 29, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Comparing Short Stories - Kate Chopin and Ernest Hemingway" 26 February 2012. Web. 29 November. 2022. <>