The Age of Reason (Sartre)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

L'âge de raison (The Age of Reason) is a 1945 novel by Jean Paul Sartre. It is the first part of the trilogy Les chemins de la liberté (The Roads to Freedom). The novel, set against the background of the bohemian Paris of the late 1930s, focuses around three days in the life of a philosophy teacher named Mathieu who is seeking to find the money to pay for an abortion for his mistress, Marcelle. In these three days, the motives of various characters and their actions are analyzed and the perceptions and observations of others are taken in account to give the reader a comprehensive picture of the main character.

L'âge de raison is concerned with Sartre's conception of freedom as the ultimate aim of human existence. This work seeks to illustrate the existentialist notion of ultimate freedom through presenting a detailed account of the characters' psychologies as they are forced to make significant decisions in their lives. As the novel progresses, character narratives espouse Sartre's view of what it means to be free and how one operates within the framework of society with this philosophy. This novel is a fictional representation of his main philosophical work, Being and Nothingness, where one attains ultimate freedom through nothing, or more precisely, by being nothing.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Age of Reason (Sartre)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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