Body Language of Two Separate Photographs of: J. Paul Sartre and Albert Camus

Sartre Writes a Tribute to Camus After His Friend-Turned-Rival Dies in a  Tragic Car Crash: "There Is an Unbearable Absurdity in His Death” | Open  Culture

A Photoanalysis.

Photographer- unknown

This two were friends that had later on some great differences, were the greatest existential philosophers after World War 2. Besides their philosophy (which was quieted similar) what can we learn about their character and how they are similar or different?

First, their expression;  Sartre looks at the cameraman with an expression of hospitality and suspicion, unfriendly.  Camus has a very friendly expression, his face is totally alive as though he is going to jump from the chair, at any minute. And as though he is saying something. Sartre’s face is dark while Camus face is lighted. Thus transmitting inspiration and hope. The dark face of Sartre has a kind of pessimistic air to it.


Their hands:  Sartre’s hands are not touching each other, thus convening a certain openness. One hand is totally relaxed, while the other is clenched (tension or stress) and the pointing finger transmits some threat, all this transmits a mixed message, there are several meanings here, and some are conflicting, (one hand is not like the other hand) which might indicate a complex personality.   Camus both hands are identical, they are holding (what seems as) a glass, but in a soft, even embracing position, meaning he is less tense then Sartre, more soft. He is more relaxed, this hands position compliments his friendly face. Now, his is also leaning from the side, one shoulder is forward; this sideway posture is known in body language studies as a friendly, not opposing stance (wanting to join).

Body posture: Camus is leaning forward, as he is trying to make contact with the cameraman. Sartre is leaning back, he is within himself, not relating to the cameraman.

Eye direction: Camus is looking directly, they are wide open as trying to ‘swallow’ life.

Sartre on the other hand is looking from the side in what could be perceived as a suspicious, examining, unfriendly look.

On the whole, their body language is totally different, showing how different they are in their personality, Camus is very friendly, open, communicative and relaxed. While Sartre is less friendly, not trying ‘to be nice’.

it is very interesting that despite their very different personalities – they have a very similar philosophy. Which means that they ascended above their different personalities, in their philosophies..

About the relations between them.


Gabriel Raam

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