Kate Chopin’s first novel, At Fault, also refers to sentiments of her childhood, which was not without limitations and prejudices. Her parents, the O'Flahertys were slave holders and rebel supporters. When the Civil War broke out, Kate's brother George joined the Confederate Army. Kate's sentiments followed after the protection of her brother, and she became the "littlest rebel" in St. Louis (Thornton 2). Because of Kate's feelings about the Union, it shouldn't be too surprising that some of those sentiments survived into her adulthood. In much of her work, beginning with At Fault and continuing through such stories as "For Marse Chouchoute," and "The Benitous Slave," the black characters are portrayed as simple, childlike, and mindlessly devoted to their masters (Thornton 6). Even in "Desiree's Baby" (perhaps Chopin's best-known short work), racial injustice is a necessary background against which Chopin stages her deadly dramatic irony.
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“When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, free!" The vacant stareand the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed everyinch of her body. She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome” (Lines ).