Simone de Beauvoir Essay

From an early age, Simone de Beauvoir felt a strong sense of self-worth and ability. Thinking was her favorite pastime and she quickly realized it as one of her great strengths. Beauvoir wasn’t one to follow social standards. She actually enjoyed challenging them and creating her own guidelines to follow.

Born and raised in Paris during the early to mid 20th century, Beauvoir was the eldest daughter in an upper middle class family. Her parents recognized her intelligence and encouraged Simone by placing her in prestigious schools where she excelled; eventually passing all the tests that would allow her to attend Paris’s top universities.

Beauvoir’s academic focus was in philosophy. She examined and took further Existentialism with her counterpart and companion Jean Paul Sartre. But her biggest and most well known contribution to humanity is her influence and determination as a feminist, called by many the “Mother of Feminism.” She wrote academic works and novels exposing women’s oppression around the world and throughout history. Her most famous work titled The Second Sex is Feminism through the eyes of an Existentialist philosopher. She challenges men to reconsider the stereotypes that they have created of women that give the female gender the unfortunate and unnecessary label as the “other” citizen.

In the patriarch society she challenged, Beauvoir was ignored for her intellect, and not fully recognized as the philosopher she was until after her death. Despite her individuality and personal intellectual accomplishments she was always associated as Sartre’s side kick, never completely honored for the magnitude and accomplishment of her own philosophical view. It’s just recently come to focus the major contribution and influence that Simone de Beauvoir had on the thinking and works of Jean Paul Sartre.

Another brilliant but less celebrated literary work of Simone de Beauvoir was her book The Coming of Age. Written when she was in her sixties, The Coming of Age is an examination of the elder years lived by all humans who don’t die before they’re sixty. It examines the alienation and prejudices imposed by society on the elderly. It’s an eye opening look at the fate that awaits all citizens who live on to their senior years.

Simone de Beauvoir never married or had children, although she did stay in a devoted relationship with Sartre until his death. Her stance throughout life was to set her own standards and examine the ones she was subject to. She was a prolific writer and tireless activist who fought for women’s rights through intellectual study and well articulated debate.

A Famous Quote by Simone de Beauvoir:

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.

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