The Second Sex

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title The Second Sex

author Simone de Beauvoir

type of work Nonfiction

genre Women’s studies; philosophy

language French

time and place written Paris

date of first publication 1949

publisher Gallimard

point of view Third person; very occasionally first person

major conflict Men and women struggle for primacy in society.

themes Immanence vs. transcendence; nature vs. nurture; reproduction vs. production

motifs The eternal feminine; the Other

symbols The praying mantis