Volume 33, Issue 1, January 2017
Larry Alan Busk
Two Women in Flight in Beauvoir’s Fiction
This paper analyzes two forms of “fl ight from freedom” (or bad faith) embodied by characters in Beauvoir’s fi ction, connecting these portrayals to the situation of women as described in The Second Sex as well as the discussion of social freedom in The Ethics of Ambiguity. The characters under consideration are Monique from the story “The Woman Destroyed” and Françoise from the novel She Came to Stay, who represent fl ight from freedom in related but distinct ways. My claim is that considering these two characters in conjunction allows us to see the two decisive moments of Beauvoir’s theory of authentic freedom in negative manifestations. Monique attempts to make herself into an object by abdicating her freedom, while Françoise takes herself for a sovereign subject and is unable to recognize the freedom of others.