The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

Must We Burn Sade?

• "Must we Burn Sade?" is a response to the writings of Sade written by Simone de Beauvoir that seeks to place Sade properly among the great figures of literature.

• His greatness is not found in his technical writing according to the author.

• Sade becomes compelling only when he tries to reconcile these two parts of himself.

• De Beauvoir provides a brief biography of Sade from what is known about his life, which is very little.

• She ascribes to him the basic background that other men of his social and financial background would have had during his lifetime.

• As an aristocrat, she assumes he is cultured, but also indulgent of his sexual desires, keeping a mistress and visiting brothels.

• He conforms to the social expectations that attend his position, such as accepting an arranged wife he does not love.

• She theorizes that Sade and other...

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