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Written by Julia Wolf
Words, books (symbols)
The title of the novel becomes the main symbol of the work. It is what reflects the narrator’s essence. Sartre could not yet read but he pretended reading. From his very childhood, books become more important for him even that the people around him. It is in books that he lived and developed and words become the symbol of his essence. As he declares himself, books become his religion.
Pessimism can been observe almost in every page of the novel, it has leaked into every word and becomes kind of a key factor for the author. Sartre wrote The Words at the age of 49; he is completely formed as a person and a writer and The Words represents his world overview. Being a representative of atheistic existentialism Sartre approaches his existence with the traits of pessimism. It is where his genius explores itself fully.
Memoirs and truth (motif)
In The Words, Sartre seeks to be truthful for the reason that he despises himself deeply in his childhood, and in this novel the author is talking about himself in fact up to 10 years. Such kind of approach in memoirs is very rarely as memoirs in most cases are always false from the point of view of the external manifestation of life, from the point of view of real life events. A professional researcher can much better describe the way of an artist. The author is always wrong and inaccurate, since he often thinks not what is and actually was. Sartre tries to be extremely objective and presents with the image of an eccentric, pampered scoundrel, an egocentric, effeminate boy who suffers extreme pain when the public does not pay attention to him.
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