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Simone de Beauvoir quotes (showing 1-30 of 281)

“She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Mandarins
“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself”
Simone de Beauvoir
“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“When I was a child, when I was an adolescent, books saved me from despair: that convinced me that culture was the highest of values[...].”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Woman Destroyed
“In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“A man attaches himself to woman -- not to enjoy her, but to enjoy himself. ”
Simone de Beauvoir
“One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, and compassion”
Simone de Beauvoir
“What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Woman Destroyed
“On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself--on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth - and truth rewarded me.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition: the clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.”
Simone de Beauvoir, La Vieillesse
“Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female — whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“All oppression creates a state of war. And this is no exception.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Regardless of the staggering dimensions of the world about us, the density of our ignorance, the risks of catastrophes to come, and our individual weakness within the immense collectivity, the fact remains that we are absolutely free today if we choose to will our existence in its finiteness, a finiteness which is open on the infinite. And in fact, any man who has known real loves, real revolts, real desires, and real will knows quite well that he has no need of any outside guarantee to be sure of his goals; their certitude comes from his own drive.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity
“I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“She would never change, but one day at the touch of a fingertip she would fall to dust.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Mandarins
“One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“Two separate beings, in different circumstances, face to face in freedom and seeking justification of their existence through one another, will always live an adventure full of risk and promise." (p. 248)”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our lives that we must draw our strength to live and our reasons for living.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.

Simone de Beauvoir
“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
“Sex pleasure in women is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken.”
Simone de Beauvoir
“My life was hurrying, racing tragically toward its end. And yet at the same time it was dripping so slowly, so very slowly now, hour by hour, minute by minute. One always has to wait until the sugar melts, the memory dies, the wound scars over, the sun sets, the unhappiness lifts and fades away.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Woman Destroyed

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The Second Sex The Second Sex
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