Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay

1335 Words6 Pages
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“I was born to a family whose morals distinguished them from the people.” (Josephson 9) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland on June 28, 1712. He became the son of Isaac Rousseau, a plebian class watchmaker, and Suzanne Bernard, the daughter of a minister who died shortly after giving birth to him. Rousseau’s baptism ceremony was a traditional one held at St. Peter’s Cathedral on July 4, 1712 by the reverend senebies. He had an elder brother who had a “loose character”, but Rousseau loved him anyway.
At an early age, Rousseau found a love for reading. His mother had an inheritance of some money and many romantic books and novels, so those are the first that he read. He and his father would
…show more content…
The more miserable he became with his master, the more he read.

He would play with the other boys on free days, usually Sundays, and venture out of the city gates. He often came home just before the drawbridge closed at sundown and twice had to sleep outside the city. On day on March 14, 1728, Rousseau was late and saw the drawbridge closing. He yelled to his uncle he would not be returning to his master. Bernard did not try to stop the boy, who was just over sixteen when he decided to make his journey. After wandering for several days he fell upon the Roman Catholic priests at Consignon in Savoy. He was then turned over to Madame de Warens at Annecy, who sent him to a school in Turin. He wandered several places but in 1730 eventually returned to Madame de Warens. He spent eight years in her household and it was there that he fully developed his love and taste for music, the enjoyment of nature, his passion for reading the English, German, and French philosophers of chemistry, and studying mathematics and Latin. Because of Madame de Warens, Rousseau’s horrid childhood memories were not suddenly so bad.

Josephson, Matthew. Jean-Jacques Rousseau. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Company, 1932.

More about Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay

Get Access