At the Existentialist Café - Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Sarah Bakewell
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Summary

Beauvoir began to pen autobiographical writings in free-form, emphasizing her experience in the world as a girl. Though she wrote from her own perspective, and captured her own individual experience over time, she was also able to write about the history of humanity as a whole as the history of patriarchy.

The world did not receive her work quickly or carefully. It was conservative at the time, in contrast to her being a “freethinking lady existentialist,” a “disturbing figure, with her open relationship, her childlessness and her godlessness” (210). However, though many men and other conservatives immediately spurned her work, many women were shaped by it. Though most people at the time assumed that there were many basic, inherent differences between men and women, Beauvoir argued that these differences were not naturally developed, but taught to individuals by society. Fairy tales, for example, portrayed women...

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This section contains 1,082 words
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Buy the At the Existentialist Caf Study Guide
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