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The Age of Reason (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Mathieu persuades Lola to let the terrified Ivich depart and then confesses that he, Mathieu, stole the money. As she’s Boris’ sister, at some point she’s been introduced to Mathieu who seems to fall for her due to her looks and youth, with the two sharing an odd relationship based on the professor teaching Ivich about high culture. It’s also added extra weight if you move on to the remaining two books of the Roads to Freedom trilogy. On and on it goes, as Mathieu reëvaluates his life, his situation, and his relationship with Marcelle. Regretting her scream, and feeling somewhat world-weary, the duo part ways as Ivich continues to wallow in depression about her impending exam results.

The two of them are struggling with whether they love or hate each other, when Lola storms in clutching a bag which probably contains a gun. The absolute determination of all the characters to be as miserable as possible eventually becomes quite funny. As one of these is pitched battle, the unpleasant emotional breakdowns with friends and lovers he suffers here stand him in good stead for warfare.

You have, however, reached the age of reason, my poor Mathieu,’ said he, in a tone of pity and of warning.

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. But this fear of the physical reaches orgasms of revulsion in Mathieu’s revolting imagining of a) sex b) of the little blister of flesh, the foetus growing inside his mistress’s heavy, smelly pink body, and c) how it will be pricked, slashed and sucked out in the abortion. The fact is, you’re beyond any comprehension: you, so prompt with your indignation when you hear of an injustice, you keep this woman for years in a humiliating position, for the sole pleasure of telling yourself that you’re respecting your principles.

This causes some consternation but, drunk, she announces it to be a “very agreeable sensation” and she likes “seeing [her] blood”.

He has a huge amount of admiration for Mathieu, but still doesn’t fancy achieving any grand age of any sort. We believe, in a way, that the more money that we have (and the finance industry loves to float those ideas) the more we believe that we are able to do The sense of general foreboding in the tale suggests he’s likely to fail in some way—or he has to accept he’s a member of the bourgeoisie and his life has been a lie. She turned her head, and was looking at Mathieu’s hair, tilting her mouth towards him with a touch of affectionate coquetry. I didn't read this as an exemplification of Sartre's philosophy, but rather as a study of the philosophy of the characters in the story.This article includes a list of references, related reading, or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.

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