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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A successful writer, a talented musician, and an accomplished philosopher, Rousseau has a reason to come off somewhat cocky. This is why Leo Damrosch describes Rousseau as a "restless genius." Throughout the book the reader sees the development of these talents. After traveling around all of Europe he never settles down. Not only to take with him some great knowledge of what he has experienced. The fact of the matter is that Rousseau never does settle down, and all of Europe is his classroom. The most shocking aspect of the confessions is the fact that this book was written in the 1700's. Rousseau talks of his many loves he has throughout this book. The one love in his life that catches the eye is that of Mme de Waren. The love triangle that existed between Mme de Waren, Claude Anet, and Rousseau would be looked at as repulsive to European polite society. Not only in the 1700's but even now some would find a woman like Mme to be a bit scandalous. Aside from all of Rousseau's lovers, which make this autobiography edgy, is a fugitive who runs from the law. His writings were condemned by Paris and Rouen, which forced Rousseau to run to the Swiss Canton of Neuchatel to avoid arrest. Later he is discovered there and is forced to run again, this time to Saint-Pierre. He then accepts an invite from his friend, David Hume, to live in England. It is here that Rousseau begins his writings of The Confessions. All