Simone De Beauvoir: A Biography Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Simone De Beauvoir: A Biography

After Samuel Beckett and before Anais Nin, Deirdre Bair tackled the life of the woman Jean-Paul Sartre knew as "Castor" and "the Beaver" -- with the subject's cooperation, if not full agreement. De Beauvoir was a brilliant and creative woman who insisted on subsuming much of her intellect and talents to the man who thought himself painfully ugly, who seduced women right and left with his words and voice (and described them and their bodies in excruciating detail to his close woman friend and sometime lover), and depended on De Beauvoir to shield him from much of the dirty emotional work of life. This is a very personal biography; Bair is not a great source for literary or philosophical analysis of her subject's writings. At 700-plus pages, the book does go on and is somewhat repetitive, but it's quite readable and there are lots of memorable bits, from her passionate affair with Nelson Algren to the image of her imitating the voice of their beloved John Wayne for Sartre's amusement, and his manic practicing of yo-yo tricks.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Simone De Beauvoir: A Biography

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Plot & Themes

Romance    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   love triangle/polygon    -   seduction (yum!)    -   discovery about a lover    -   trying to decide who really love Political/social rights fight    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   women fighting for rights    -   fights between different pol/social groups job/profession:    -   writer Gender/Class story?    -   woman's story Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   French


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Misc setting    -   resort/hotel Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   51%-75% of book

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Deirdre Bair Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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