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A collection of Simone de Beauvoir's quotes about love, books, feminism, philosophy, truth, life, relationship and much more.

96 Badass Simone De Beauvoir Quotes That Will Inspire You

Quick Facts

Famous As
Writer

Born On
09 January 1908 AD

Died On
14 April 1986 AD

Born In
Paris

Died At Age
78

The 'Mother of Modern Feminism', Simone de Beauvoir was an extraordinary intellectual, French writer, political activists and social theorist. Her life exemplified the emergence of female-centric revolutionary ideas and struggle for social structure free from patriarchal ideas. She laid down a political roadmap for reinvention and polarization of the society. Being extremely intelligent for her age, Simone completed her graduation at the delicate age of 17 and earned her advanced degree when she was just 19. She was the youngest person to achieve an aggregation in philosophy who scored second highest marks in this test. Simone, the 'lady of letters' wrote on popularized social taboos like politics, morality, gender theory, sexuality, philosophy, literary criticism and existentialism. Along with her partner Jean-Paul Sarte, this legendary intellectual wrote several novels, memoirs, magazines and columns. Before her death, she had produced countless essays and 20 ground-breaking books. Her best works include 'The Second Sex', 'She Came to Say' and 'The Ethics of Ambiguity'. Simone's autography 'The Mandarins' that beautifully captures her life struggles brought her France's highest literary Honor. Throughout her life, de Beauvoir lived a controversial but star-like life, meeting foreign dignitaries and getting followed by the paparazzi. A headstrong person with clear-cut ideologies, Simone is an inspiration for modern-day women. Her thoughts and quotes reflect her intellectualism. We have gathered together Simone de Beauvoir's most thought-provoking quotes. Presenting a collection of Simone de Beauvoir's quotes excerpted from her work and life.

Every individual concerned to justify his existence feels that his existence involves an undefined need to transcend himself, to engage in freely chosen projects. pg. xxxiii

- Simone de Beauvoir

Mystery is never more than a mirage that vanishes as we draw near to look at it.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

The truth is, however, that when two individuals detest each other, while being unable to get along without each other, it is not of all human relations the truest and most moving, but rather the most pitiable.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

To paint, to write, to engage in politics—these are not merely ‘sublimations’; here we have aims that are willed for their own sakes. To deny it is to falsify all human history.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

Freedom is the source from which all significations and all values spring. It is the original condition of all justification of existence.

- The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir

I tried to love you less.I couldn't.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

There was still a question in her eyes-- one that she did not like to put into words.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

The characteristic feature of all ethics is to consider human life as a game that can be won or lost and to teach man the means of winning.

- The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir

Je sais qu'on ne peut jamais se conna褾re, mais seulement se raconter.

- Prime of Life, Simone de Beauvoir

Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

Kad覺n覺 g飆rp mutfaa ya da sslenme odas覺na kapat覺yor, sonra da ufkunun darl覺覺na a覺yoruz; kanatlar覺n覺 kesiyoruz, sonra, u蓷m覺yor diye yak覺n覺yoruz.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

I went to get a detective story. You have to kill time. But time will kill me too - and there愀 the true, preestablished balance.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

Ready-made phrases and the ritual of etiquette were unknown to him; his thoughtfulness was pure improvisation, and it resembled the little inventions affection inspires.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

Man must not attempt to dispel the ambiguity of his being but, on the contrary, accept the task of realizing it.

- The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir

Legislators, priests, philosophers, writers, ans scientists have striven to show that the subordinate position of woman is willed in heaven and advantageous on earth.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir

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!

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- Simone de Beauvoir

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.

- A Very Easy Death, Simone de Beauvoir

That the child is the supreme aim of woman is a statement having precisely the value of an advertising slogan.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

A man never begins by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex; it goes without saying that he is a man.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

To will oneself moral and to will oneself free are one and the same decision.

- The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir

It is so tiring to hate someone you love.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

A couple who go on living together merely because that was how they began, without any other reason: was that what we were turning into?

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

The whole world was nothing but an exile with no hope of a return.

- Simone de Beauvoir

The way I approached a question, my habit of mind, the way I looked at things, what I took for granted - all this was myself and it did not seem to me that I could alter it.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

I was very fond of Lagneau’s phrase: “I have no comfort but in my absolute despair.

- Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone de Beauvoir

I think that where you go wrong is that you imagine that your reasons for living ought to fall on you, ready-made from heaven, whereas we have to find them for ourselves.

- The Blood of Others, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

She was not to look beyond herself for the meaning of her life.

- Simone de Beauvoir

He formed his sentences hesitantly and then threw them at me with such force that I felt as if I were receiving a present each time

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life, and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence a meaning.

- Simone de Beauvoir

It is not in giving life but in risking life that man is raised above the animal; that is why superiority has been accorded in humanity no to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying.

- Simone de Beauvoir

The body is the instrument of our hold on the world.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

But women do not say 'We', except at some congress of feminists or similar formal demonstration; men say 'women', and women use the same word in referring to themselves.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

I realized that even if we went on talking till Judgment Day, I would still find the time all too short.

- Simone de Beauvoir

You have never had any confidence in him. And if he has no confidence in himself it is because he sees himself through your eyes.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

All success cloaks a surrender

- Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone de Beauvoir

What is an adult? A child blown up by age.

- Simone de Beauvoir

...counselling man to treat her as a slave while persuading her that she is a queen.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

…but all day long I would be training myself to think, to understand, to criticize, to know myself; I was seeking for the absolute truth: this preoccupation did not exactly encourage polite conversation.

- Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone de Beauvoir

Youth and what the Italians so prettily call stamina. The vigor, the fire, that enables you to love and create. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

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.

- Prime of Life, Simone de Beauvoir

Oppression tries to defend itself by its utility.

- Simone de Beauvoir

And without a doubt it is more comfortable to endure blind bondage than to work for one's liberation; the dead, too, are better suited to the earth than the living.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

Self-consciousness is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself.

- Simone de Beauvoir

Tragedies are all right for a while: you are concerned, you are curious, you feel good. And then it gets repetitive, it doesn't advance, it grows dreadfully boring: it is so very boring, even for me.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

To abstain from politics is in itself a political attitude.

- Prime of Life, Simone de Beauvoir

People seem to think that if you keep your head empty you automatically fill your balls.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered this becoming practically impossible.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- Simone de Beauvoir

The word love has by no means the same sense for both sexes, and this is one cause of the serious misunderstandings that divide them.

- Simone de Beauvoir

Even if one is neither vain nor self-obsessed, it is so extraordinary to be oneself - exactly oneself and no one else - and so unique, that it seems natural that one should also be unique for someone else.

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir

Some things I loved have vanished. A great many others have been given to me

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

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.

- Simone de Beauvoir

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.

- Simone de Beauvoir

Be loved, be admired, be necessary; be somebody.

- Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone de Beauvoir

I could see no reason for being sad. It愀 just that it makes me unhappy not to feel happy.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

Women's mutual understanding comes from the fact that they identify themselves with each other; but for the same reason each is against the others.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- Simone de Beauvoir

Because we are separated everything separates us, even our efforts to join each other.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

What would Prince Charming have for occupation if he had not to awaken the Sleeping beauty?

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

If the feminine issue is so absurd, is because the male's arrogance made it "a discussion

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

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

- The Book of Positive Quotations, Simone de Beauvoir

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

Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

She would never change, but one day at the touch of a fingertip she would fall to dust.

- The Mandarins, 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.

- The Second Sex, 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)

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

I was made for another planet altogether. I mistook the way.

- Simone de Beauvoir

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

- Simone de Beauvoir

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

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

All oppression creates a state of war. And this is no exception.

- The Second Sex, 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.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- 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

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

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

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

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

- 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

A man attaches himself to woman -- not to enjoy her, but to enjoy himself.

- 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

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

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[...].

- The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.

- The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others.

- Simone de Beauvoir

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 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.

- La Vieillesse, Simone de Beauvoir

She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal.

- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir