I thought, how dumb! How come? Well, our personal experiences in an amoral world can force our ethical hand, and then we create personal principles. We must FIND ourselves. Not all our moral choices come from upbringing, schooling, or culture.
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His plays are intensely personal messages; often they express his love of the theatre as well as his grudges against actors, wives, mistresses, critics, academicians, bureaucrats , and others.
The Anouilh family moved to Paris when Jean was a teenager, and it was there that he studied law and worked briefly in advertising. He worked briefly as the secretary to the great actor-director Louis Jouvet. Although not a systematic ideologist like the Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre , Anouilh developed his own view of life highlighting the contradictions within human reality, for example, or the ambiguous relationships between good and evil.
His dramatic vision of the world poses the question of how far the individual must compromise with truth to obtain happiness. His plays show men or women facing the loss of the privileged world of childhood. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Jean Anouilh. Anouilh also wrote several successful film scenarios and translated from English some works of other playwrights.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen , Corrections Manager. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
Marie-Magdeleine worked the night shifts in the music-hall orchestras and sometimes accompanied stage presentations, affording Anouilh ample opportunity to absorb the dramatic performances from backstage. He often attended rehearsals and solicited the resident authors to let him read scripts until bedtime. He first tried his hand at playwriting here, at the age of 12, though his earliest works do not survive. Jean-Louis Barrault , later a major French director, was a pupil there at the same time and recalls Anouilh as an intense, rather dandified figure who hardly noticed a boy some two years younger than himself. He liked the work, and spoke more than once with wry approval of the lessons in the classical virtues of brevity and precision of language he learned while drafting advertising copy. Supported by only his meager conscription salary, Anouilh married the actress Monelle Valentin in She allegedly had multiple extramarital affairs, which caused Anouilh much pain and suffering.