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Reference Article: A brief overview of the Enlightenment period of the 18th century.

Once they start dancing, Boris is shocked to see a young man dancing impressively who turns out to be at least in his 40s. Last year he had been quite unperturbed, he had never thought about that sort of thing: and now — it was rather ominous that he should so constantly feel that his youth was slipping between his fingers. Until twenty-five. The dichotomy of youthful hedonism and adulthood is expressed most obviously in this chapter. Subsequent novels in the Road to Freedom have little to do with this theme, but what Sartre did is lay bare the concerns of his central characters whilst World War II loomed casually on the horizon.

Such impending disaster makes many innocuous day-to-day endeavours trivial, of course, but at this stage his creations are busying themselves worrying about ageing, money, and relationships. The Age of Reason only concerns a handful of days, I should point out, during which time personal freedom is the main theme established.


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In other words, as humans we exist first, but then we do things which define who we are as individuals. Whether you agree with him or not, this is the backdrop for rest of the novel. From chapter three, Mathieu begins his search for funds to fuel a professional abortion. Sarah attempts to get Mathieu to reconsider, but ultimately suggests a renowned, but expensive, doctor he can turn to.

Upon departing, Delarue observes of Sarah:.

The 18th century

She raised her kind, ill-favoured face to his. There was in that face an intriguing, almost volutptuous humility that evoked a mean desire to hurt her, to crush her with shame. For chapter four, one of the real treats of the novel arrives: Ivich. This bizarre young student clearly has all many of psychological issues which make her difficult to be around, but due to her good looks she arouses great interest.


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  • Delarue clearly has a thing for her, but is caught between being the intellectual elder statesman and the lust driven buffoon. He meets Ivich to take her to a museum and show her the works of Gaugin a French post-impressionist artist. Ivich was conscious of her youth, and so was Boris, but these were exceptions. Martyrs of youth.

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    We were only aware of it afterwards. He liked to show her fine pictures, fine films, and fine things generally, because he was himself so unattractive; it was a form of self-excuse. Ivich did not excuse him : that morning, as on all occasions, she would look at the pictures with her wild, maniacal air : Mathieu would stand beside her, ugly, persistent, and forgotten. And yet he would not have liked to be good-looking — she was never more alone than when confronted with something to admire. Now, these two are a bit odd together.

    This has clearly been going on for a while, but Ivich has grown somewhat bored of the routine and is now resentful towards Delarue. Ivich is a fusspot, in simple terms. Mathieu orders some mint tea after she had expressed a fondness for it. This time around, however:. All manner of eccentricities are unearthed as the novel progresses — Ivich is simply a one-off. A bundle of borderline madness held together by a wealthy family and good looks. Despite the peculiar relationship they share, she still seems fond of the man in a weird, unpleasantly fueled way and invites Mathieu to the Sumatra club for the evening with Boris and Lola.

    Ivich was not precisely a flirt, but from time to time she assumed an affectionate air for the pleasure of sensing the heavy, fruit-like sleekness of her face. Mathieu thought it an irritating and rather silly pose. Feeling annoyed by her behaviour, Delarue commits a cardinal sin:. He leaned towards her : and to punish her, he laid his lips lightly against a cold, closed mouth : he was feeling defiant: Ivich was silent.

    Lifting his head he saw her eyes, and his passionate joy vanished.

    Eventually, the taxi pulls up next to the museum, with Ivich and Mathieu alighting and heading into the latest exhibition without exchanging a word. They soon rekindle their relationship whilst discussing Gaugin, until Ivich has an episode of fatigue and rushes home in a taxi. With the youth gone from his life again, reality hits home on the 34 year old and his predicament becomes ever-present.

    He must hunt down his wealthy friends and beg for assistance. Returning home, he finds Delarue on his doorstep. He thinks himself deep, he imagines he can see through me. Why on earth should I help him? In the book, I must point out, Daniel often says one thing to his friends to make him appear moral, likeable, and supportive. His internal monologue, however, is as above.

    Irritated, he levels at Delarue:. You get a comfortable life out of the situation [with Marcelle] and an appearance of liberty: you have all the advantages of marriage and you exploit your principles to avoid its inconveniences. You refuse to regularise the position, which you find quite easy.

    The accused makes a rebuttal by stating Marcelle shares the same views on marriage. Jacques, a wealthy lawyer, responds:. But, I must tell you once more, you are as good as married, your have a delightful flat, you get a competent salary at fixed intervals, you have no anxiety for the future because the State guarantees you a pension… and you like that sort of life — placid, orderly, the typical lie of an official.

    THE AGE OF REASON by Thomas Paine - FULL Audio Book - Greatest Audio Books

    Boris reappears throughout the novel adding a cheerful, youthful edge to proceedings. In the philosophy class there had been a good deal of lively interest in Communism, and Mathieu had evaded the issue by explaining what freedom was. Boris had constructed his life on this basis, and he kept himself conscientiously free: indeed, he always challenged everyone, excepting Mathieu and Ivich: that would have been futile, for they were above criticism.

    As to freedom, there was no sense in speculating on its nature, because in that case one was then no longer free. Boris scratched his head in perplexity, and wondered what was the origin of these destructive impulses which gripped him from time to time. Boris considered it indecent for a fellow of his age to aspire to think for himself. He had seen enough of such people at the Sorbonne, pretentious young wiseacres, bleak, bespectacled products of the Ecole Normale, who always had a personal theory in reserve, and invariably ended by making fools of themselves somehow.

    He had fairly to recognise that Sereno presented an extremely elegant appearance. In point of fact, there was, in the almost pink tweed suit, the linen shirt, and yellow necktie, a calculated bravado that rather shocked Boris. Boris liked a sober, slightly casual elegance. None the less, the total effect was irreproachale though rather lusciously suggestive of fresh butter.

    Serono burst out laughing. He had a warm, attractive laugh, and Boris liked him because he opened his mouth wide when he laughed. He would have indeed liked to go to the Harcourt with Sereno: he was an odd fellow, he was extremely good-looking, and it was amusing to talk to him because of the need to be constantly on guard: the persistent sense of danger.

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    The Age of Reason

    He struggled against himself for a moment, but the sense of duty prevailed. Despite his predicament, Delarue still finds time to catch up with his younger friends in the evening. He meets them in a club where Ivich is drinking vodka and Boris a peculiar cocktail. Boris busies himself with girlfriend Lola, and the jazz band plays whilst the characters take turns to dance.

    Even Mathieu and Ivich share a moment on the dancefloor this, of course, being the s — no breakdancing would have occurred.

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    As she plays with it, several nearby patrons who have been complaining about her conduct kick up again. He felt benignantly impressive, and was a little afraid that he might faint. But a sort of dogged satisfaction, and the malice of a silly schoolboy took possession of his mind. It was not only to defy Ivich that he had stuck the knife into his hand, it was as a challenge to Jacques, and Brunet, and Daniel, and to his whole life.

    Then she looked at Mathieu, her expression had entirely changed. The two appear to connect properly for the first time as they wait and eventually return to their table with an enigmatic, relaxed air about them. With early morning setting in, and Ivich happily admiring her bandaged hand, Mathieu reflects on a feeling of content as Lola takes to the stage and begins to sing.

    Entering chapter 12 and the final pages of the novel, a series of events force Delarue towards the culmination of his predicament. Feeling connected with the Serguines due to recent events, a bolt of lightening surrounding Lola stuns the three of them. An appalled Ivich asks if she committed suicide whilst fussing with her curled hair, and the dazed Boris begins to laugh manically.

    Mathieu smacked his face with a sharp, noiseless flip of the fingers. Boris stopped laughing, eyed him, muttered something, then subsided and stood quiet, his mouth agape, and still with a stupid air. All three went silent, there was death among them, anonymous and sacred. Boris believes it to be a cocaine overdose having found her apparently cold and lifeless on his bed in the morning.

    Panicking, he dressed and fled.

    Serendipitous Moments: 'The Age of Reason' by Jean-Paul Sartre

    Mathieu walked out on to the Boulevard Montparnasse, he was glad to be alone. Behind him, Boris and Ivich would soon be whispering together, reconstituting their unbreathable and precious world.


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    But he did not care. He gasped several times, passing his hands over his face and rubbing his cheeks. Although upset Boris presumed she was dead, Lola merely shrugs off the incident as one of her episodes — the seeming dangers of regular cocaine use evidently not of much concern to her. Look here, Boris, pull yourself together, this is becoming ludicrous. Boris looks up to see Delarue stalk off into Paris after his call without looking at them, leaving him depressed. The two youths reconcile with one another and then make to leave. They seem intent on making their way in life, but a mixture of laziness, eccentricity, and a reliance on their affability and good looks means they seem destined to have everything handled for them.

    Casual lives of serendipity, essentially. Their sheltered frame of mind takes another knock when Ivich is groped by one member of a group of young builders who pass around them in the street. In this pivotal book, Smith examined how markets work and was critical of mercantilism — an economic system in use in much of Europe that tended to create high tariffs, therefore stifling trade between countries. Some experts consider Smith to be the founder of modern economics.