Essay on Simone de Beauvoir: the Woman in Love

1440 Words Oct 2nd, 2007 6 Pages
Beauvoir discusses love in relation to sexual difference. She also discusses the difference between authentic and inauthentic love. What differences between women and men's experiences of love does she discuss? How does she think the problems of love can be rectified?

Simone de Beauvoir's text "The Woman in Love", taken from her book "The Second Sex" (1988) describes her theories on men and women in love. This essay will explore her propositions about the differences men and women experience in love, look at her ideas of authentic and inauthentic love, and how she proposes for the differences and problems of love to be dealt with. De Beauvoir published her work in 1988, and with this context in mind we can understand the way she
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She finds her lover unfaithful if he fails to live up to her god-like idolisations, she aims to possess him yet desires him to be independent, otherwise how else is she to achieve transcendence? She also fears losing her lover to another woman, as to lose him is to lose everything. She prefers to invent rivals rather than believe that his love for her has lessened, and believes that some "clever schemer" is "bewitching" him (pp. 672-673).

De Beauvoir believes much of what she theorises about is an inauthentic form of love. She believes that when women use love as their saviour, and as a means to find themselves that it is not authentic and can never be. As love, for many women, is just a means of salvation and finding themselves, it becomes more a matter about the woman than about the one she loves. It is inauthentic when the woman views her lover as a god, because in reality no man is godlike, and she is ultimately disappointed (Bronte para. 3), to view a man in this way means there can be no connectedness so authentic love can not occur. De Beauvoir believes however that authentic love is possible but that to occur it "should accept the contingence of the other with all his idiosyncrasies, his limitations, and his basic gratuitousness. It would not pretend to be a mode of salvation but a human inter-relation" (p. 664), that is, authentic love will be formed when the woman seeks a lover as a partner to share in a relation with, not

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