De Beauvoir would probably have said that, once again there was no mention of woman. she believed that women were oppressed by mundane chores and invisible in the world of philosophy. Although de Beauvoir never had children of her own, she is known as “the mother of feminism”. Her book about female oppression called: “The Second Sex” was the first real attempt to explore why women allowed themselves to be dominated by men. Like Sartre, she came from an upper-class family. But de Beauvoir lost their money. When the servants left, all the domestic chores fell on her mother, who resented her lot but never questioned that housework was a woman’s duty. The young de Beauvoir wasn’t slow to notice the unfairness of it all. She thought people should be free from prejudices about the sexes.
Sartre and de Beauvoir met as university students at the Sorbonne in Paris. Famous the world over as the odd couple, they never married or shared a common property. De Beauvior refused to live the conventional female role. They lived in hotels and ate in cafés. But they did share a common philosophy. Their particular brand of thinking is called existentialism – so named because it focuses on individual human existence. The idea is that only people are creative. They are free to rise above their creaturehood and create their own lives. Sartre said: “Man makes himself“.
Sartre saw life as one gigantic stage, and people were the actors condemned to a lifetime performance. However, people are free to write their own “scripts” and cannot blame anyone else for a “bad performance”. those “actors” who allow themselves to be pushed into a role by others are denying that they are free to choose. In de beauvoir’s case this would have been behaving in the way society expected women to behave. The stars on life’s stage are those who accept their freedom and make their own choices. They always take responsibility for their actions, whether these bring success or disaster. Sartre said that people who lived typecast lives weren’t living at all.
Sartre wrote many plays and also acted in them. He enjoyed putting on stage productions. Sartre was in the meteorological corps in the Second World War and was taken prisoner by the Germans. He spent his time Putting on plays in the prison camp.
De Beauvoir believed that education was very important. It gave women the chance to break free from oppression by using their “brain power”. De Beauvoir and Sartre edited a left-wing newspaper. In 1964 Sartre was awarded the Nobel prize for literature for his novel “The Words”, but he refused to accept it,probably because he thought the award was only open to a select few. All his life, Sartre tried to reconcile his philosophy of personal freedom with his political beliefs. He supported the collective struggle against oppression.