She paved the manner for feminism. He was the laminitis of existential philosophy. Together they formed a “ love treaty ” , in which they would be the other ‘s “ indispensable ” love. Each of them would be free to hold “ contingent ” personal businesss. This tended to be easier to gestate than to pattern, but their relationship continued for the continuance of their lives together. This unconventional relationship, nevertheless digesting, contradicts many of their philosophical beliefs.
For person who vowed “ to detest the middle class until my deceasing breath, ” Jean-Paul Sartre ( 1905-80 ) was in many ways the ideal merchandise of the Gallic cultural constitution. In his memoir The Words, he recounts a childhood spent in comparative comfort, encouraged in his aspiration to be a author by his female parent and his maternal gramps. Sartre ‘s male parent died before he was born — therefore saving him, he subsequently said, from an Oedipus composite. A superb pupil, he attended the Ecole Normale Superieure, in Paris ( McLemee ) . It was here that he met his womb-to-tomb comrade, Simone de Beauvoir.
De Beauvoir ( 1908-1986 ) began her instruction at a private school, the Cours Desir, in 1913, and in 1917 she met Elizabeth “ ZaZa ” Le Coin, a misanthropic and vocal miss who deeply influenced Simone ‘s attitudes toward households and, in peculiar, female parents, toward adult female ‘s usage of freedom, and toward decease. Beauvoir met Jean-Paul Sartre in the same twelvemonth as ZaZa ‘s decease, 1929. She had been analyzing literature, Latin, mathematics, and doctrine, the latter at the Sorbonne since 1926. She received her grade from the Sorbonne in 1927. Sartre, like Beauvoir, was fixing for the agregation de philosophie, a making for instruction, at the Ecole Normale Superieure ( Sontag ) .
Sartre and de Beauvoir both believed in the existential philosopher values of freedom, pick and duty, but their thought of freedom was for the most portion, self-serving. For illustration, de Beauvoir had a long matter with the spouse of one of her closest friends. Even after he married her friend, she continued a secret relationship with him. Besides, Sartre, who was emotionally stunted, used his conquerings of adult females as a manner to experience alive. One of these adult females later took her ain life.
Both philosophers rejected the businessperson values that they had grown up with. This included their resistance to the conventions of matrimony and kids. Even so, Sartre had one time been engaged and proposed matrimony to two other adult females, one of which was de Beauvoir. Both ended up following a “ kid ” subsequently in life, Sylvie Le Bon and Arlette El Kaim. Both had at one clip been lovers of the brace. Money and celebrity was besides a businessperson value, but however, they pursued it with a hungriness. So much for detesting and denying all the values they grew up surrounded by.
Sartre and de Beauvoir come off as anti-humanists. Their Hagiographas promoted a construct of freedom which gave them licence to make as they please. They treated people as objects and left them abandoned with letdown and hurting, to abortions, self-harming and self-destruction. Compunction might hold taken the topographic point of sorrow, but they ne’er faced the effects of what they did, or what they wrote in effort to warrant themselves ( Pryce-Jones ) . They maintained complete honestness with each other, but lied to the lovers they each took. In the book, Letters to Sartre, their correspondence is filled with cattie and belittling comments about the people they were either kiping with or seeking to kip with, even though, when they were with those people, they radiated involvement and fondness ( Menand ) . Their sexual brushs with other people formed the really foundation on which their relationship was based. These letters, detailing every facet of their sexual feats, were how they maintained familiarity with each other after they had stopped kiping with each other. They used their sexual spouses as a sort of ill matrimonial assistance, and those involved, who were still alive when the book was published, felt intelligibly betrayed.
Sartre ‘s doctrine of the experiential adult male relies on freedom in action, but in his ulterior life, he succumbs to his dependence to drugs and intoxicant. If he were genuinely a “ free ” adult male, he would n’t hold fallen victim to these frailties. He was besides a good known atheist, but on the threshold of his decease he was chat uping with Judaism, and to encompass God at this point would hold reversed his full life ‘s work. The footing of existential philosophy is that there is no God ; no interior decorator to give life intent, hence adult male has to happen their ain significance in life. Yet another of Sartre ‘s opposing Acts of the Apostless took topographic point during WWII. He took no action in the opposition, but when he was captured by the Germans, he negotiated his release by befriending the guards. He even became friends with the German censor to assist in printing his plants. After the war, he became a major participant in the opposition to the war. What a great manner for him to demo his grasp, right?
Even though Sartre did non follow all of his philosophical ideals, it was de Beauvoir who was the most contradictory in her life. She was the writer of The Second Sex, a book which revolutionized the feminist motion, but in many ways she was an enabler of the male dominated society. For illustration, this books concluding chapter, “ The Independent Woman ” , states that merely economic autonomy can let go of adult females from subordination, but de Beauvoir frequently took immature misss under her wing and made them financially dependent on her and Sartre, therefore the female lovers she took were ne’er free. In this book she describes sapphism as a disengagement gender for dissatisfied adult females, rejected and unrealized in heterosexual love ( Soadly ) , but de Beauvoir maintained several close relationships with adult females, frequently sexual. She publically denied of all time holding dealingss with adult females, but when Letters to Sartre was published, it was clear from her many elaborate letters, that so she had. Many of these relationships even rivaled those of the most of import work forces in her life. De Beauvoir besides found the status of gestation insulting because it was an hindrance to adult females ‘s self-realization in the wider universe. When one of her cortege fell into this “ status ” , de Beauvoir arranged for an illegal backstreet abortion which about ended the miss ‘s life ( Roberts ) . This does n’t look to follow the existential philosopher position of duty.
I find it ironic that even though de Beauvoir was known as the materfamilias of feminism, she is best known as Sartre ‘s lover. She had one time written that she disliked the bland faces of American adult females who did everything they could to delight their adult male ( Roberts ) , but she would score immature adult females, frequently her students, and so go through them on to Sartre. These conquerings of Sartre made her bitterly covetous, but she continued to give her blessing of his meaningless and manipulative wooings, all in the hopes of delighting her adult male. The really thing she disliked about American adult females was something she did herself. De Beauvoir would besides follow Sartre in his alterations in political positions. She may hold had her ain political stances, but was frequently swayed by Sartre ‘s persuasive and passionate statements. So much for being the independent adult females that many people believed she was.
Both Sartre and de Beauvoir left an imprint in philosophical history. Their major plants in the Fieldss of existential philosophy and feminism are still referenced today. However, after larning about their unconventional relationship, it becomes evident how much many times they did non follow their ain beliefs. If they could n’t even follow the ideals they preached, so how are other people supposed to?