5 Books by Jean-Paul Sartre to Understand His Philosophy

Home Assignment Answers 5 Books by Jean-Paul Sartre to Understand His Philosophy

Existentialism is not thinking depressingly what is the place you have in the world, at least not everything; so, you better read these books before continuing to believe that.

Whether because he was the husband of Simone de Beauvoir or because of his marked strabismus, Jean-Paul Sartre is easily recognized in the annals of the history of thought. In the first case, it is surprising and even applauding, that a man in the humanities and in the records of philosophical reflection is recognized as the companion and partner when our society is used to do totally the opposite; independently, this does not do justice to the dawn of the meditation that this Frenchman inaugurated and, just as it is unjust to reduce any woman as nothing more than the sentimental half of a man, to minimize another human to the same conditions is shocking. Yes, they had a stormy romance, a political life that attracted a lot of attention, but Simone and Jean-Paul were more than that;

Returning to the subject of his sight and, therefore, its easy location in photographs of the twentieth century, Sartre at age 4 suffered strong fevers that coincided with a uveitis in the right eye, which led him to develop secondary glaucoma. Over the years, this determined exotropia in his eye, and he was left with virtually no vision for his entire life. The situation that we usually subject in a simple condition of ugliness or a congenital evil, without realizing that, in reality, this event in his life had a lot to do with the way he did philosophy. His visual weakness and his abject appearance, in a certain way, conditioned his writing, reading, attitude and thinking practices in a way that has rarely been studied.

All the above understood as loving links and facades of "anti-beauty", has generated a decline of the philosopher to "an existentialist thinker", whatever that means and without absolute awareness of what his contributions have been or what we can receive from his writings. A very complicated task and for which it is urgent to approach his work to stop thinking that existentialism is the simple questioning depressed by being here, or that the Sartre was nothing more than an ugly cross-eyed that deceived the beautiful and intellectual Beauvoir.


To understand primordial work technically and discursively what the author proposes as Existentialism, Sartre proposes in this book that people are beings capable of creating our own laws by rebelling against all types of statutes; that is, accepting responsibility, ethics and all personal morality without any support from society, ethics or any tradition. These are indispensable norms to declare our freedom and choose the proper concepts of behaviour.



The first and perhaps the most famous novel by Sartre; possibly the most recognized philosophical fiction among newly initiated readers. In this one is narrated - in the manner of an intimate diary - the life of Antoine Roquentin, a French victim of despair and apathy who, disappointed in love, disgusted with the world, reduces the justifications of his existence to writing.

THE WALL (1939)

With themes such as madness, the bourgeoisie, sexuality and illness, this collection of five short novels exposes the tragic and comic disasters of life in a game of intradiegetic and extradiegetic narrations. Something peculiar to this book is that it is dedicated to Olga Kosakiewicz, long lover of the author and former student of Beauvoir; an act that influences wholesale these dissertations.


Three novels that make up the vision of ethics and politics that Sartre proposed and that is in line with perspectives that have not only influenced philosophy but in deep studies of sociology and psychology.

NO EXIT (1944)

One of the most important plays for Existentialism. The work positions its central character, Gracin, in a room or hotel that can be understood as hell and a space in which everyone expects to be tortured, but no tormentor appears. The culminating moment is when readers and characters warn that those present should torture each other; difficult situation because, when they have the opportunity to escape, round in our heads the question: can they live without each other and in lack of suffering?

The ideas have been discussed by various authors and come up while Understanding the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Read Sartre carefully, permeated by his political life, loving and sentimental because absolutely all this crosses the time of a thinker, but without giving more prominence to these details, it is necessary to ignore that is from our existence that we can define what we want to be. To notice that we define ourselves in every opinion we have or exercise and that whenever we exist we can be what our possibilities, desires and decisions give us license to be.

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