Toril Moi’s Afterword:- “Simone de Beauvoir now belongs to a past generation. Her pioneering example has opened the way for women to be taken seriously – and loved – as intellectuals and as women. On the threshold of the twenty-first century, she still makes it easier for us to live our lives as we wish, without regard to patriarchal conventions. My awareness of the complexities and contradictions of her life has added depth to my admiration for Simone de Beauvoir. Her persistent and patient efforts to become an independent woman, to build a literary career for herself, and to devote herself to the solitary task of writing testify to her courage, patience and fortitude. Her absolute insistence, in the face of patriarchal prejudice, on her self-evident right to emotional and sexual happiness is truly exemplary: one could hardly expect her to have done it all without displaying the slightest trace of pain or psychological conflict. It ought not to surprise us that, like the rest of us, she too was torn by the contradictions of a patriarchal society. Reading her autobiography, I am struck at once by her strength, energy and vitality, and by her helplessness and fragility. When I realize how hard it was for her to gain a sense of autonomy and independence, I find her achievements all the more admirable. To admire, however, is not to worship. We do not need to be perfect, Simone de Beauvoir teaches us; we simply need never to give up. To me, that is both a comforting and an utterly daunting prospect.”
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