Leslie's Reviews > The Age of Reason

The Age of Reason by Jean-Paul Sartre
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's review
Jan 19, 2009

it was ok

The book has been lauded for decades as an insightful look into the notion of individual freedom and I wanted to read it and experience Sartre's writing. Overall, I thought the book was okay. I didn't feel that any of the ideas were particularly new or interesting and I didn't sympathize with the characters. However, I think that might have been the point.

I think we've all gone through periods of wanting to be free from the burdens of commitment and responsibility but as we get older (and reach the "age of reason") we find that we also want lasting relationships and situations that provide security and stability. Therefore, we make compromises and find a balance that works for us. Mathieu chooses to run from this eventuality and creates a terrible fate for himself as a result.

It was worth reading to get a taste of Sartre's writing and philosophy. I think that these ideas were likely unexpressed at the time he wrote the book and therefore were more impactful to those initial audiences. I'd like to know a bit more about Sartre and am going to try to get my hands on the collection of his love letters to Simon de Beauvoir.

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