Women in Literature: A Comparative Analysis
EN3150 – Fall/Winter 2011/2012 – Patricia Keeney
Lecture 2 – Some Ideas about Women – Sept 19
Simone de Beauvoir – ‘The Second Sex’
- Written in 1949, published in France.
- Unusual in a couple of ways.
o Combines various disciplines together,
o Although it analyzes the position of women in western civilization, it does
so while taking in masculine values.
- Simone elevates the masculine as the ‘ultimate type’ to which women should
- She needed to remain the faultless intellectual – she prided herself on this.
- Her husband had many affairs and she retaliating with small affairs that gave her
heart aches because she ended up liking the men – she experienced great
amounts of jealousy.
- Moral and intellectual codes were not her own in her formative years.
- Born into a society where girls were marrying within their own class – they would
remain chase until they moved out of their parents’ house and rule into their
- Her father was an idealist – aspired to more than he could achieve.
o Her parents were radically opposed – mother believed, father didn’t.
Mother represented things of the spirit and was very str