Jean Jacques Rousseau "The Confessions" Essay examples

1070 Words Apr 30th, 2007 5 Pages
Jean-Jaques Rousseau
The Confessions

To understand the kind of man Jean-Jaques Rousseau was we must first understand the time in which he existed. Rousseau was born in Geneva on June 12, 1712, which is why his book was seen as perverse and edgy to most of the public. He reveals everything from his sexual encounters as a young man to his promiscuity as an adult. This autobiography that Rousseau wrote is about a man at the end of his life accounting all the events that took place from childhood to adulthood. The book begins with his childhood and feelings of a father who never fully loved him in the beginning. He thinks this is due to the fact that his mother was killed during childbirth. "He seemed to see her again in me, but could
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Along with these failures include the many apprenticeships and jobs in which he just gives up or is fired from. From his teens to the middle of this mans life the reader is lead to believe that Rousseau will quit any task at the drop of a hat. At the age of 12 he apprentices his uncle who is a lawyer who lets Rousseau go due to the fact that he was incapable of doing his job. Then he tries out teaching where he realizes that he is no good at tutoring as well. It was not till he returns to Paris that he realizes his true talent, writing. His only true successes were his accomplished writings. He would probably his sexual accomplishments, which include the women who he made out to be physical trophies. In the middle of the book we see a real change in the character of Rousseau. "I now carried with me wherever I went a self-assurance which owed its firmness to its simplicity which dwelt in my soul rather than in my outward bearing…and I crushed their little witticisms with my observations, as I might crush an insect between my fingers, what a change!" (Pg 388) Now we are seeing a man who is no longer the shy child in the earlier pages who's main concern was for everyone to love him. Now he describes himself as somewhat cocky and boisterous and no longer cares about the opinions of others towards him. These years of Rousseau's life