It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life. Old age is life’s parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time.

Simone de Beauvoir


The Quote in Other Words

The comparison should be between life and old age, not life and death. Old age is a mockery of life, while death elevates life to a higher level by removing the constraints of time. Death gives life a permanent quality.


Explanation of the Quote

This quote highlights the stark contrast between old age and death. While death is often seen as the ultimate end of life, the author argues that it is old age that truly contrasts with life. Old age is portrayed as a parody of life, a time when the body and mind begin to deteriorate, and one’s abilities and independence are diminished.

On the other hand, death is seen as a transformative force that gives life an absolute dimension. It is through death that life is preserved and given a sense of finality. Death does away with time, allowing life to exist in a timeless state.

This quote challenges us to rethink our perceptions of old age and death. Rather than fearing death as the end of life, we should embrace it as a transformative force that gives life meaning and purpose. Similarly, we should view old age not as a time of decline, but as a time of reflection and wisdom. By embracing these concepts, we can find greater meaning and purpose in our lives, even as we approach the end of our journey.