Intellectuals Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Rousseau's family life in his youth.

Rousseau was born in Switzerland to Calvinist family. His mother died shortly after his birth and his older brother ran away after he was the subject of much abuse by their father. Rousseau eventually left home to live with a patroness, Madame de Warens, who supported him for fourteen years.

2. Describe the typical arc of Rousseau's friendships.

Rousseau made friends easily, and people were apt to give him support and offer him funds, particularly women. However, Rousseau was very manipulative and accepted help only on his terms and often to the disadvantage of his friends. Once Rousseau had procured what he needed from his friends he often mistreated them and quarreled with them and they almost always became his enemies.

3. What action did Rousseau take after his second book prompted book burning and resulted in a warrant for his arrest in France?

After Rousseau came under heat from the government, following the publication of his second book, Emile, he went to England for a time until the government lost interest in him.

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