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The Second Sex

Simone de Beauvoir

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