Existentialism In No Exit By Jean Paul Sartre

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Existentialism is a complicated and diverse set of theories and beliefs. Jean Paul Sartre’s beliefs are very complex as well in how he conveys them to the reader. He firmly believes that the actions of the person should be what they are and that the outside world should not shape a person. Through his play No Exit, each character would come to represent a key point in existentialism, authenticity, angst and absurdity.
The definition of authenticity is to know oneself, accept it and be true to it. One major display of authenticity is the character of Inez and how she acts. The way she holds herself is very true to existentialism and that is due to her authenticity. She knows the kind of person that she used to be and even said it herself,” I was what some people down there called ‘a damned bitch.’ Damned already. So it’s no surprise, being here.”(p. 25). With this response, Sartre shows that Inez acknowledges her mistakes and flaws, she truly knows herself. This is a very free way of thought. It has much leeway into what a person could decide to do with their life or not and Inez decided to do whatever she set her mind to. She accepts what she has done; she even says “You know, I don’t regret a thing” (p. 25) and even embraces it, as her actions were practically a part of who she was as a whole. She does not care how she comes off to others, even if she is “rather cruel” (p. 26), she does what she wants and is how she wants to be. Another factor of authenticity shown is the rejection of stereotypes. For example, human feeling and going along with social norms pertaining to the consoling of those that are sad are what would be expected of a person in normal society but Inez goes on to say “Human feeling. That is beyond my range. I’...

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... Absurd was the meaning Garcin came to realize about the room and Estelle and Inez.
Overall, No Exit is a great work on part of Jean-Paul Sartre. In it he was able to include at least three of the very key facets of his beliefs in existentialism. They were Authenticity, Angst, and finally, The Absurd. The play had various examples in and of itself but most of them came from the characters and their behavior. Each character had a personality that fit very well into the certain mold that was a part of existentialism. Inez was sure of herself and who she was, Estelle was afraid to make any decision that could influence her as a person and finally Garcin took away or added meaning to the scheme of things. Sartre’s No Exit brought all of these facets together in a very cohesive fashion and overall showed how Existentialism can bring the best and the worst out of people.

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