Read All Men Are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir Free Online
Book Title: All Men Are Mortal|
The author of the book: Simone de Beauvoir
Edition: W. W. Norton Company
The size of the: 14.76 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: May 17th 1992
ISBN 13: 9780393308457
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1863 times
Reader ratings: 6.3
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“Insects were scurrying about in the shade cast by the grass, and the lawn was a huge monotonous forest of thousands of little green blades, all equal, all alike, hiding the world from each other. Anguished, she thought, "I don't want to be just another blade of grass.” Part historical fiction part philosophy, All Men are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir was written, I can only imagine, to make us wonder about life itself.
In the first section we read about Raymond Fosca’s relationship with Regina, a self-obsessed actress, and how when she learns of his immortality falls in love with him. She imagines she could live forever through his memory of her. Then there is his tale, through war and peace and death, of course, with hints of happiness. That endlessly repeats itself.
We read that any victory or progress is ephemeral, and for every marginal advance there is a catastrophic retreat. What futility! De Beauvoir’s novel is written to show the futility of immortality and perhaps to show us the purpose of human life even if death is unavoidable. The clearest glimpse or her explanation of it all can be read in a conversation that Fosca has with one of his descendants, Armand, a participant in the revolutionary movement. Raymond narrates:
‘I don’t believe in the future,’ I said.
‘There will be a future, that at least is certain.’
‘But all of you speak of it as if it were going to be a paradise. There won’t be any paradises, and that’s equally certain.’
‘Of course not.’ He studied me, seemed to be searching my face to find the words that might win me over. ‘Paradise for us is simply the moment when the dreams we dream today are finally realized. We’re well aware that after that other men will have new needs, new desires, will make new demands.’…
‘I’ve had a little smattering of history. You’re not teaching me anything. Everything that’s ever done finally ends by being undone. I realize that. And from the hour you’re born you begin to die. But between birth and death there’s life.’…
‘In my opinion, we should concern ourselves only with that part of the future on which we have a hold. But we should try our best to enlarge our hold on it as much as possible.’…
‘You admit,’ I said after a short silence, ‘that you’re working for only a limited future.’
‘A limited future, a limited life – that’s our lot as men. And it’s enough,’ he said. ‘If I knew that in fifty years it would be against the law to employ children in factories, against the law for men to work more than ten hours a day, if I knew that the people would choose their own representatives, that the press would be free, I would be completely satisfied.’ Again his eyes fell upon me. ‘You find the workers’ conditions abominable. Well, think of those workers you know personally, only of them. Don’t you want to help change their lot in life?’”
All Men are Mortal is an intriguing, provoking and haunting work which will leave a lasting impression in reader’s mind. 4 stars, recommended.
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Read information about the authorSimone de Beauvoir was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
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