Does an author always relate their title of his work to its content? For one thing, authors usually pick strategic titles that will eventually reflect to the theme of the story. For example, in “Desiree’s Baby,” “The Wife of His Youth,” and Mandingo, we can appreciate how each of the authors has chosen specific key words as the title of their story or film, so that the readers can have a basic understanding of what it will be about. First, Kate Chopin chooses “Desiree’s Baby” as the title which informs the readers that the story will be based on a girl named Desiree and her baby.
As can be seen throughout the story, one major theme is racism and race mixing. Everyone believed Desiree was pure white as well as Armand, however when their baby is born, his black features are extremely noticeable. Armand assumed Desiree was partially black since her parents history was unknown; therefore he kicked out Desiree and her baby. The baby is a major turning point of the story, we can see how Armand’s fear of having had a baby with a black woman, was stronger than the love he felt towards her and their baby.
Hence, it is Desiree’s Baby, because after he erroneously found out that Desiree was partially black he abandoned his role of father, and the baby became only Desiree’s. The second story, “The Wife of His Youth,” has a theme based on racism as well as the previously mentioned story. Mr. Ryder, protagonist of the story, belonged to a society, to which entrance was judged upon people’s color skin. Blue Vein Society, consisted of light skinned black, and those who colors were darker than a brown bag would now be permitted to join. Moreover, Mr.
Ryder meets a woman who claims to be her old lost love, she was “The Wife of His Youth;” ironically this woman representing the title of the story is extremely dark and would never be accepted into the Blue Vein Society, therefore Mr. Ryder had to face an inner conflict, weather to accept his past and the fact that he was a former slave, or ignore Liza and go on with his present life. Last but not least, the film Mandingo deals with a strong theses about racial mixture, racism and sexism as well. The film shows how badly slaves were treated by the white people, how black woman were raped, and were ubmitted to awful treatments. However, the protagonist owned a Mandingo, who he treated differently than the others. In addition, he was slowly falling in love with one of his black slaves. The white man would constantly cheat on his wife with the black slave, and even though this was very common, having feelings towards them was extremely forbidden. Furthermore, the protagonist’s wife forced the Mandingo into having an affair with her, she got pregnant and when the white man found out about the affair he did not hesitate to kill him, despite the affection he felt towards him.
Mandingo, was a great title because it highlights the film’s main themes: sexism and racial mixture. In conclusion, we can infer from the two stories and the film mentioned above, that usually titles relate and are somehow symbolic to their content. Again, “Desiree’s Baby” was the reason Armand decided to abandon them, The wife of Mr. Ryder’s youth helped him accept his past life, and the Mandingo showed the readers how a white man could have an affair with a black slave and even have feelings for her, but a white woman could not, and the black man would pay for it. Hence, these three titles are factors of the author’s theme.