* HollywoodAtheist: All atheist characters in De Sade's novels despise religion ([[WriterOnBoard like him]]) ([[{{Hypocrite}} some while being clergy members themselves]]), are uniformly sexual sadists/serial killers, and feel that individuals should be allowed to do whatever they desire, murder and rape included, [[AppealToNature because it's natural for them]].
* MoralEventHorizon: The moment we know that Eugénie of ''Philosophy in the Bedroom'' has crossed this is when she [[spoiler:rapes her own mother and ''sews her genitals shut'' after [[ThePunishment having her infected with syphilis]].]]
* NauseaFuel: Copious amounts of it. ''The 120 Days of Sodom'' is the most notorious in this regard, but almost all of Sade's works have content that can easily turn a reader's stomach.
* NightmareFuel: ''The 120 Days of Sodom'': At first it's just NauseaFuel. Then you get to the gorn. Which includes [[spoiler: rape, torture, sodomy, and killing of innocents in very brutal ways]]. What's worse, it was made into [[Film/SaloOrThe120DaysOfSodom one of the most challenging films of all time]], similar in notoriety to [[spoiler: ''Film/CannibalHolocaust'' and ''Film/MenBehindTheSun''.]]
* TheWoobie: The title character of ''Justine'', a sweet, kind girl who just wants to be good. Unfortunately, she's in a Marquis de Sade novel, so she suffers utter ''hell'' because of it. Everyone that she meets who doesn't want to beat and/or rape her wants to do something even worse to her, and usually gets to do it. The ''high'' point of this story is Justine recounting how at the age of twelve, she asked for shelter in a man's house and was told that she could only stay if she would have sex with him. She gets ''screamed at'' by the person she talks about this to for being a "parasite" that wanted something for nothing. And it does ''not'' get better for her.
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