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Separate but Equal White Lies and Local Color The specific attributes of social political and cultural implications in both literal and metaphorical boundary crossing distinguish Kate Chopins Desirees Baby as a work of absolute realism In therapy a boundary is the edge of appropriate behavior in a given situation In a boundary crossing the therapist steps out of the usual framework in some way but this action neither exploits nor harms the patient indeed it may advance the therapeutic alliance or the therapy itself Examples that clearly fit this description include offering a crying patient a tissue helping up a patient who has fallen and even disclosing some facts about oneself Gutheil and Gabbard 1993 Throughout Desirees Baby Chopins characters are both consciously and subconsciously slaves of their own society It is my belief that these three implications social political and cultural of boundary crossing which Chopin embellishes upon will have a symbiotic relevance to a particular character The cultural aspect of boundary crossing encompasses Desiree and Armands marriage to each other and the child she conceives In fact interracial marriage was illegal in some states until 1967 so at the time of their wedding in the mid 19th Century Chopins implication regarding a white prominent man in wedlock with an African-American was unfathomably taboo for the time Armand could have literally been trialed for and hung for white mans treason and he would have taken the whole family down with him as Chopin explains He no longer loved her because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name 362 The literary implication regarding this departure was that Armand hated Negroes more than he loved his own wife the mother of his own blood whom he has also disowned Symbolically Armand Aubigny is the literal anthropomorphism of racism and the hatred that steer his self-demise Desirees Baby touches upon boundary crossings with respect to social parameters The most
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