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Désirée takes her son from the nurse and walks not to Valmondé but to the deserted bayou, where she disappears. She has presumably killed herself. Désirée could not handle the shame that will be inflicted upon her for having an interracial baby. In the nineteenth century, sexual relations between two people of different races, or miscegenation, bore a distinctly derogatory connotation. As evidenced by the quadroon slave child who fans Désirée’s own baby, interracial relations did occur with relative frequency, but such children often ended up as slaves under the theory that even one drop of African or “black” blood made a person black rather than white.