Important People in At the Existentialist Café

Sarah Bakewell
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Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre grew up in a bourgeois family. He was bullied as a young child at school, which shaped the way he saw the world for the rest of his life. Rather than fighting off his bullies, he treated them with kindness and bought them gifts with the money he stole from his mother’s purse. Until he died, he was a compulsive gift-giver and had very few possessions. In higher education, he led the most popular clique in his elite high school.

He was always deliberately radical in his thought. Because of an unfaltering belief in always moving forward rather than looking backward, he often contradicted himself and left works unfinished. He also had several notable phobias and quirks in character— for example, he was scared of anything gooey and once thought that lobsters were following him wherever he walked. Additionally, at one point in...

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This section contains 1,491 words
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Buy the At the Existentialist Caf Study Guide
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