The How to Read series provides a context and an explanation that will facilitate and enrich your understanding of texts vital to the canon. These books use excerpts from the major texts to explain essential topics, such as Simone de Beauvoir's investigation of social existence and identity, gender, sexuality, and old age.To what extent does our social existence determine who we are? What is the meaning of sexuality for human existence? What is the meaning of "old age"? What is a woman? And what, for that matter, is a man? Stella Sandford explores the philosophical basis of Beauvoir's reflections on these and other questions, from her early moral period, through her post-war philosophical crisis, to the astounding polymathic studies of her mature thought. She demonstrates the persistence of the fundamental existential and ethical questions that drove Beauvoir's work and her constant revisions of her own positions.