Simone de Beauvoir

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A lot of things happened in Simone de Beauvoir’s life, most having to do with women and the way they were treated. She was a very observant person, and her writing reflects that. Simone de Beauvoir’s writings attempted to deal on paper with the vast emotions conjured by her life experiences, particularly women she knew who were “assassinated by bourgeois morality.” (“Simone”)
Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris, France on January 9, 1908. She was raised by a Catholic mother from Verdun, and a father who was a lawyer who enjoyed participating in amateur theatrical productions. As family finances dwindled during World War I, Beauvoir saw the household chores that were burdened on her mother and decided that she herself would never become either a homemaker or a mother. She had found so much pleasure in teaching her younger sister, Helene, everything she herself was learning at school that she decided to pursue a teaching career when she grew up. (“Simone”)
Beauvoir and her best friend, Zaza, would talk about the greatness of bringing nine children into the world, as Zaza's mother had done, and of creating books, which Beauvoir believed to be worthwhile. As the girls matured, Beauvoir saw the degree that Zaza's mother had used her daughter's love and commitment to Christianity to control Zaza's choice of career and husband. When Zaza, tormented by her parents' refusal to grant her permission to marry Maurice Merleau-Ponty died at twenty-one, Beauvoir felt that her friend had been “assassinated by bourgeois morality” (“Simone”). Many of Beauvoir's early fictional writings attempted to deal on paper with the emotions conjured by the memory of the family and of Zaza's death. (“Simone”)
Despite her warm memories of going to early morning mass as a little girl with her mother and of drinking hot chocolate on their return, Beauvoir eventually pulled away from the traditional values with which Francoise de Beauvoir hoped to infuse in her. She and her sister began to rebel. (“Simone”)
Weighing the good things against the bad things in this world evoked a belief in an afterlife, and the fifteen-year-old Beauvoir chose to stay with her life here on earth. Her loss of faith created a serious lack of communication with her mother. (“Simone”)
Beauvoir was convinced during several years of her adolescence that she was in love with her cousin Jacques Champigneulles, who introduced her to books by such French authors as Andre Gide, Alain-Fournier, Henry de Montherlant, Jean Cocteau, Paul Claudel, and Paul Valery.

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