The first hint of menace, of things awry came with her reactions to the child. '"This is not the baby", she exclaimed, in startled tones." There is brooding atmosphere of heat that seems to suggest the calm before a storm in this scene. As the changes in the baby are reflected by changes in his father, Armand, it became apparent that the child was not white, so Desiree, of unknown parentage was blamed. The awful response of the father, cruelty to his wife, love turned to hate and his beating of the slaves showed his how his damaged pride, social standing and prejudice had dreadful effects on all around him: "..the spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves."
Armand caused so much suffering and pain to those who were different, through prejudice and misplaced pride. When he drove her away, punishing her for disgracing him, I realized that I wanted Desiree and her baby to be saved from the bayou, to go and live with the people who understood the meaning of unconditional love. The irony in the last few words exposed the tragedy: "his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery." In this story, the universal truth stands out; those people who believe themselves better and more important than others, letting that rule their lives, are left with nothing, as the ashes of the fire Armand lit, symbolized.