Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings.
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Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings Summary & Study Guide Description

Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings by Marquis de Sade.

This book is a composition of three novels by the same author. The author was a French Marquis who lived from 1740-1820. His reputation has traveled with him through the centuries. He is infamous for his ideas. The succinct way to express the man's present day reputation are the words "Sadism" (the tendency to both inflict pain upon others and to enjoy doing so) and "Masochism" (a cultivated enjoyment of being hurt). Both words derive from the life and writings of the Marquis as he is the first, as far as we are aware, to present them in any context that relates to psychological theory. While these are terms displayed during these novels none of them is defined.

Translators and attendant scholars have worked with the three novels contained within this anthology. During the Publisher's Preface the scholar tells readers that family and friends of the Marquis were as apt to be upset by his creative writings as strangers. The first novel is Philosophy in the Bedroom. The second and third are Eugenie de Franval and Justine. This is a sordid tale entailing instruction in the unseemly subculture known as "libertinism." These writings cover a multitude of sexual and gender-related concerns as well as addressing abuse issues. Some of these he has lumped together through his definition of the movement known as "libertinism." He associates libertinism with corruption, and then shows quite graphically why this is the case. The Marquis shows how ignorance can be used to cultivate views which will lead to corruption or wrongdoings. These novels can be valuable in exploring how corruption works. He shows the need for reform but not how to achieve it.

It is doubtful that many writers of the age were covering the important issues of preventing, finding and correcting abuse of children and women in society during the Marquis' life. He has mainly brought attention to these issues through the negative, by chronicling sad and painful events for fictional characters. This edition of the book includes two novellas and one novel by the same author. Infamous as he may be, the Marquis has left a lasting impression on the literary world. The writings of the Marquis are largely pornographic. It is not difficult to see why he was offensive to people during his lifetime. Despite this, he has made several points about areas of needed reform in French society.

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