They were thought to be very different from white people, not as smart or advanced. We might also guess that 'Story of an Hour' happens a little later in the century, because she writes about train wrecks and telegrams as if they are common, not new or unusual. But women are still in a bad position here, and Mrs. Mallard is thought to be weak and delicate.
'Story of an Hour' is about Mrs. Mallard, whose husband is thought to die in a train accident. Her friends think she will be sad, but when she thinks about it, all she can think is that she will be free. She is happy that in the future she can 'live for herself' instead of having a husband 'impose a private will' on her. When she accepts this, she is happy, but then she finds out her husband isn't really dead and she dies. 'Desiree's baby' is about a beautiful girl who is adopted by rich people who love her. She marries another rich man who loves her, but after their baby is born he hates his wife and his baby because he thinks they are black. He sends them away and burns all their things, but he is the one who 'belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.'
The main character in 'Story of an Hour' is Louise Mallard. ...
She loves her husband 'sometimes' but we can see that she really loves herself and wants to be 'Free! Body and soul free!'
Mrs. Mallard reacts in a number of ways when her husband dies. At first she cries to her sister. Then she goes to be alone by herself in her room. Then she sits in a chair and sobs a little bit before she thinks, 'There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully.' She wants to fight this new thing, but then she thinks about being free and is happy. She thinks about how much fun she will have without her husband. When she comes out of her room, she looks 'like a goddess of Victory.'
Mr. Brently Mallard is a man like men were expected to be at that time. He is not bad because Mrs. Mallard thinks of his 'kind, tender hands' and 'the face that had never looked save with love upon her' but he controls her. He always tells her what to do and even though he might have 'a kind intention' when he does things, for Mrs. Mallard it still is like a crime because she is not allowed to make her own choices.
I think that the end of the story was really sad. Reading it I start to feel as happy as Mrs. Mallard is thinking about how great her life is going to be when she can live for herself. Then, when she sees him at the end, it is first like she has seen a ghost, which is bad enough, but then it is like all her dreams have flown out the door. She can't have her freedom again. This is why she dies, because she can't live without having freedom after she knows how it feels to have it. She can't go back to how her life with her husband used to be before she thought about how good it would be without him.
The main character in 'Desiree's Baby' is Desiree Aubigny.