A Selection of Quotes by Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul SartreA selection of quotes by Jean-Paul Sartre dealing with aloneness, freedom, consciousness and society.

“Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone.”

“If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.”

“People who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. I have no friends. Is that why my flesh is so naked?”

“I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together?”

“So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture chambers, the fire and brimstone, the ‘burning marl’. Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE.”

“He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being.”

“The consciousness that says ‘I am’ is not the consciousness that thinks.”

“Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up: I forget them almost immediately.”

“Once freedom lights its beacon in man’s heart, the gods are powerless against him.”

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