LA THEATRALITE ET LA CRITIQUE DE LA DROITE DANS LES MANDARINS DE SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
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This thesis examines the use of theatrical forms to illustrate social criticism in <italic>Les Mandarins</italic>. Simone de Beauvoir draws from works of classic theater and literature to depict the confluence of art, politics, and money in a capital city. Henri, editor of a political newspaper and a writer, is a contemporary Alceste whose desire to live in a better world seems at odds with his impulse to abandon it. Anne, wife of the leader of a left-wing movement, and a psychologist, is a modern Marion, loving, practical, and idealistic. As they and their friends search for meaning and solvency, they struggle against pessimism, fatalism, complacency, artistic escapism, the national interest argument among nations, the military-industrial power complex, and paranoia. Their tragic missteps recall <italic>Hamlet</italic>, while their everyday life invites comparison to a medieval farce, and the lovers take their cues from Beaumarchais. For the protagonists, as for the author herself, art and writing become a reason and a vision of human solidarity, putting into question the necessity of a world order dominated by capital.