“Sartre is one of the great philosophers in the history.”
“Sartre was an exceptional writer and thinker who wrote about human reality.”
“Sartre led an enlightenment movement in France and the rest of the world.”
I am certain you have heard all these sentences describing Jean-Paul Sartre; one of the beautiful minds that have ever lived, but I will share with you five reasons that made Sartre’s an inspiring human being who left his inerasable mark on the history.
1- He had though childhood but it didn’t stop him, he lost his father in early age, lived with his grandfather, his mom remarried and he couldn’t fit in easily with others. But it didn’t get into his spirit and he managed to put his mark on the modern history.
2- He was deep. One of the best example is his famous quote “Hell is other people” which by the way is widely misunderstood, he didn’t mean that compare people with hell, he had a deeper meaning. Sartre assumed that we cannot understand ourselves without taking into consideration how people regard us, therefore these judgments will be part of who we are, and how we regard ourselves, this is why he concludes that “hell is other people”. You may need to read the waiters and women in the first date examples.
3- He was a fighter. He dedicated his life for the cause he believed in, in the existentialism movement he promoted humanism and free thinking, he also gave special attention to socialism, and he was anti-fascism and anti-imperialism and to conclude it all he was anti-war. That made him an influential figure, that made President Charles de Gaulle describe him as Voltaire while ordering to pardon for Sartre who was arrested for protest against the the president himself. “You don’t arrest Voltaire!”
4- On 1964 he refused the Nobel Prize, Yes he did turned down the Nobel Prize for literature. He refused to be branded; he explained “A writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution.”
5- He wrote a great love letters, I personally love his letters, its shows the depth of their relationship, that magical combination between love and friendship. He always ended the letter with his assurance of love in very special way; here are some examples from my favorite letters.