Authors
Donovan Miyasaki
Wright State University
Abstract
The Blood of Others begins at the bedside of a mortally wounded Résistance fighter named Hélène Bertrand. We encounter her from the point of view of Jean Blomart, her friend and lover, who recounts the story of their relationship : their first meeting, unhappy romance, bitter breakup, and eventual reunion as fellow fighters for the liberation of occupied France. The novel invites the reader to interpret Hélène and Jean’s story as one of positive ethical development. On this progressive reading, although both characters are initially mired in bad faith and ethical irresponsibility, they ultimately transform themselves into ethically exemplary figures. Through their participation in violent political resistance against the occupation, they recognize their responsibility to humanity and actualize that responsibility in the form of positive political engagement. I will argue, on the contrary, that Jean and Hélène exhibit a unique form of bad faith that Beauvoir identifies in The Ethics of Ambiguity, a dangerous form of bad faith, distinct from the Sartrean conception, that promotes the indiscriminate use of violence for political ends.
Keywords Literature  Existentialism  Beauvoir  Politics  Dirty Hands  Ethics  Politics  Utilitarianism  Just War Theory
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