The first of various figures that de Beauvoir uses to illustrate people’s moral development and varying attitudes toward their freedom, the child sees the world of adult values as distant, inaccessible, and absolutely serious. Children trust adults’ assessments of good and evil, which they imagine to be real, definite things, rather than values created by people. At the same time, they also see themselves as removed from the serious world, instead able to inhabit the world of play, in which they can pursue whatever temporary ends they want without consequence in the process of exploring their freedom. This is much like a genuinely free life, except genuinely free people are also ethically responsible for their choices (unlike children, whose choices usually have no real consequences). Literal children are not the only ones who live like children ethically: many people, like oppressed people who believe themselves to be inferior rather than understanding their predicament, also gain the moral security of childhood, in which they are responsible for nothing because they are cut off from the “serious” world.