The Mandarins Summary
Simone De Beauvoir

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The Mandarins Summary

In The Mandarins, Beauvoir develops two contrasting themes: that of the finitude of man with its contingent fear of aging and obsession with death as illustrated in the attitude and actions of its heroine Anne; and the opposing theme of optimism, with its inherent positive attitude geared toward action, which runs parallel throughout the novel and is embodied in the protagonist Henri Perron.

Anne's preoccupation with death begins with her loss of faith in God at age fifteen. The account reflects the author's experience as told later in Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1959). It follows the same pattern, namely, a temporary relief from the metaphysical fears through the heroine's love for a man. However, the end of Anne's affair with the American writer Lewis Brogan triggers again her acute fear of aging and suffering and her painful awareness of her mortality. The obsession with death affects her relationship...

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Study Pack

The The Mandarins Study Pack contains:

The Mandarins Short Guide