Top 90 Simone de Beauvoir Quotes

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.


One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, and compassion


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)


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.


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.


What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in.


Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized.


Authentic love must be founded on reciprocal recognition of two freedoms…


Today, however, we are having a hard time living because we are so bent on outwitting death.


The misfortune is that although everyone must come to [death], each experiences the adventure in solitude. We never left Maman during those last days… and yet we were profoundly separated from her.


I was too much of an extremist to be able to live under the eye of God and at the same time say both yes and no to life


It was easier for me to think of a world without a creator than of a creator burdened with all the contradictions in the world.


‎A day in which I don’t write leaves a taste of ashes.


He reflected. ‘I know a lot of different kids of people what I want is to show each of them how the others really are. You hear so many lies!


If I were to share Jaques’ existence I would find it hard to hold my own against him, for already I found his nihilism contagious.


Every war, every revolution, demands the sacrifice of a generation, of a collectivity, by those who undertake it.


Therefore the misfortune which comes to man as a result of the fact that he was a child is that his freedom was first concealed from him and that all his life he will be nostalgic for the time when he did not know it’s exigencies.


(…) symbolism did not fall out of heaven or rise out of subterranean depths: it was elaborated like language, by the human reality…


I didn’t know the first thing about the people around me, but that didn’t matter: I was in a new world; and I had the feelings that at last I had put my finger on the secret of freedom.


But I was brought up on convent morals and paternal nationalism, I was getting bogged down in contradictions.


Why one man rather than another? It was odd. You find yourself involved with a fellow for life just because he was the one that you met when you were nineteen.


Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.


To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.


I’ve done everything I wanted to do, writing books, learning about things, but I’ve been swindled all the same because it’s never anything more.


The facts of religion were convincing only to those who were already convinced.


All those minds that are interested in finding out the truth communicate with each other across the distances of space and time. I, too, was taking part in the effort which humanity makes to know.


My contemplation is an excruciation only because it is also a joy.


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


No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.


…her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly.


The point is not for women simply to take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.


How could women ever have had genius when all possibility of accomplishing a work of genius – or just a work – was refused them?


The feminine body is expected to be flesh, but discreetly so;


If so few female geniuses are found in history, it is because society denies them any means of expression.


The relation of woman to husband, of of daughter to father, of sister to brother, is a relation of vassalage.


The relation of woman to husband, of daughter to father, of sister to brother, is a relation of vassalage.


Taking without being taken in the anguish of becoming prey is the dangerous game of adolescent feminine sexuality.


: woman is an eminently poetic reality since man projects onto her everything he is not resolved to be.


One understands now the drama that rends the adolescent girl at puberty: she cannot become “a grown-up” without accepting her femininity


Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands – two equally harmful disciplines.


A woman’s situation, i.e those meanings derived from the total context in which she comes to maturity, disposes her to apprehend her body not as instrument of her transcendence, but “an object destined for another.


I was convinced that I would be, that I was already, one in a million.


Suddenly I was struck motionless: I was living through the first chapter of a novel in which I was the heroine; she was still almost a child, but we, too, were growing up.


In the old days the worst part of my depression used to be the astonishment it caused me, the scandalized way in which I fought against it. Nowadays, on the other hand, I accept it cheerfully enough, like an old familiar friend.


The fear of death never left me; I couldn’t get used to the thought; I would still sometimes shake and weep with terror. By contrast, the fact of existence here and now sometimes took on a glorious splendour.


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.


I had to call the past to life, and illuminate every corner of the five continents, descend to the centre of the earth and make the circuit of the moon and stars


Weakness’ is weakness only in light of the aims man sets for himself, the instruments at his disposal and the laws he imposes.


That’s what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.


What do you believe in ?””People’s sufferings, and the fact that it is abominable. One should do everything to abolish it. To tell you the truth, nothing else seems to me of any importance.


To be oneself, simply oneself, is so amazing and utterly unique an experience that it’s hard to convince oneself so singular a thing happens to everybody.


It is dreadful to think that behind me my own past is no longer anything but shifting darkness.


Trudging alone along that black road, sometimes in the teeth of wind and rain, and watching the white distant gleam of convolvulus through the park railings, gave me an exhilarating sensation of adventure.


There were no scruples, no feelings of respect or loyal affection that would stop us from making up our minds by the pure light of reason – and of our own desires.


Fathers never have exactly the daughters they want because they invent a notion a them that the daughters have to conform to.


Why shouldn’t a mystical theology be possible? ‘I want to touch God or become God,’ I declared in my journal. All through that year I abandoned myself intermittently to these deliriums.


They use the pretext of avoiding war, to make you swallow any kind of peace, said Paul. They use the pretext of a revolution to involve us in any kind of war, said Jardinet.


Vengeance is pointless, but certain men do not have a place in the world we sought to construct


Vengeance is pointless, but certain men did not have a place in the world we sought to construct


As long as there have been men and they have lived, they have all felt this tragic ambiguity of their condition, but as long as there have been philosophers and they have thought, most of them have tried to mask it.


Have you ever felt in your inmost being, the conscience of others?’ again she was trembling, the words were not releasing her. ‘It’s intolerable you know


(About Sartre…)His death does not separate us. My death will not bring us together again. That is how things are. It is in itself splendid that we were able to live our lives in harmony for so long.


There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.


It’s not a very big step from contentment to complacency.


In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome stubbornness is stupid.


The role of a retired person is no longer to possess one.


Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes but is a reward in itself.


Those interested in perpetuating present conditions are always in tears about the marvelous past that is about to disappear without having so much as a smile for the young future.


One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others by means of love friendship indignation and compassion.


Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future act now without delay.


You can’t assume the responsibility for everything you do-or don’t do.


One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others by means of love friendship indignation and compassion.


The fact that we are human beings is infinitely more important than all the peculiarities that distinguish human beings from one another.


That’s what I consider true generosity. You give your all and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.


If you haven’t been happy very young you can still be happy later on but it’s much harder. You need more luck.


The role of a retired person is no longer to possess one.


Let women be provided with living strength of their own.


If you live long enough you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat.


There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future.


At night I would climb the steps to the Sacre-Coeur, and I would watch Paris, that futile oasis, scintillating in the wilderness of space. I would weep, because it was so beautiful, and because it was so useless.


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 the absolute truth.


It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life. Old age is life’s parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time.


The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women.


I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me.


Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself.


One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.


To catch a husband is an art to hold him is a job.


Society, being codified by man, decrees that woman is inferior; she can do away with this inferiority only by destroying the male’s superiority.


Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable.


I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.



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