“The Words” is the autobiographical novel of the author. The story is dedicated to the early childhood of the writer, in which he talks about his first acquaintance with books, about the formation of the desire to become a writer. These two big themes divide the story into two parts: "Read" and "Write."
In the work ironically and at the same time ruthlessly Sartre describes France "between the first Russian revolution and the world war", then fashionable writers, their relatives and acquaintances; does not make an exception for himself - the story directly and often cruelly reveals the misconceptions of the little Jean-Paul, illusions and fantasies that are reflected in his adult life.
The story begins with a story about the pedigree. Jean talks about his grandparents, about their families. Then he leads the story of his parents, how they met and how he appeared. It turns out that his father was very sick when Jean was born, so the mother was torn between them two. A year later, when his father died, his mother began to pay attention to her son. Later, Jean often thought about what would have happened if his parent had been alive, and was convinced that the situation was even better, or it would have been more difficult for him to become a person.
Back home, his mother lived alone, and he was in the status of an illegitimate son, with whom no one wanted to play in the yard, he was a hermit in the company of domestic children. They lived with their grandparents. Grandmother did not really understand the education of her grandson, but the grandfather had a strong influence on the development of Jean and on his becoming a writer.
His grandfather worked in the publishing house, as an interpreter. In general Jean was in the center of attention in the family, so he developed selfishness, he considered himself the main and necessary, as he admits in his biography.
Since his grandfather was an interpreter, there were many books in their house. Little Jean was hit by large wardrobes with dusty books on them, but he did not know what they were for. He played with them, he wanted to have his own books. One day his mother took a book and began to read a fairy tale to him. Jean realized that a fairy tale comes out of the book. He loved these moments, and he wanted to know how to extract a fairy tale from the book. He quickly learned to read and was carried away reading a variety of literature.
He lived the world of books. Writers were his best friends. Once he was taken to school. But there he wrote a bad dictation and was expelled. But after a while, he was still sent to another school, where he found his first acquaintances and friends, his peers. Some time later he was taken from this school, and he studied at home, a young teacher visited them. While still at school, Jean began to write his own novels. They evoked delight from their relatives, and Jean himself was very pleased with writing. He felt himself an accomplice in events and a master of destinies. In his fantasies, he was cruel, but on paper often came out good stories. He lived with his heroes. His grandfather did not always approve of his writing talent, but it pushed Jean to write new stories, and therefore his grandfather played an important role.
Often Jean himself was tormented by the question: why write, because who needs to do so? But the case with the Siberian writer, once read to them somewhere, confirmed him on the chosen path of the writer. And the writer remains true to this choice.