Existentialism In No Exit By Jean-Paul Sartre

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Existentialism is a philosophical idea which would inform ideologies and struggles during the post-war period following World War II. In depth explanations of existentialism are given by Jean-Paul Sartre in “Existentialism is a Humanism,” and Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex.” Sartre counters the incorrect popular definitions to formalize a concrete concept. Beauvoir places an emphasis on gender, existentialism in correlation to women. Both authors and their ideology formulated essential principles to society. Before explaining its influence existentialism needs to be defined.
What is existentialism? In philosophical terms it is the belief “that existence comes before essence.” It “is a doctrine that does render human life possible; a doctrine,
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There it is elaborated on the importance of others in defining oneself. Other people are required to acknowledge the essence created by the decisions made. People are interested in what others think of them, and use it to define themselves. This is the context to the essence, the actions taken place within society are not fixed, rather change with the situation. To establish the self other’s play a role by mediating the opposition for example. The situation is critical because the things that happen around us are never crystal clear and so we rely on others to tell us who we are in the situation, what our essence is. In “No Exit” the characters are not part of the context they see, they are viewing on from the outside and that makes it hell since they cannot change the situation they are in. They have no essence because they cannot make choices in those situations. To define who they are in hell the opinion of the others is needed. Garcin asks Estelle if he is a coward, she tells him she cannot put herself in his place and tells him he must decide if he is, he responds that he does not know. Here Garcin reflects on a situation and projects himself onto Estelle 's consciousness to define his essence. All of this is existentialism, the essence needs to be recognized by others. People are simply born, they define
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