Jean Paul Sartre No Exit Analysis

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Hell is Other People What is hell? Is it fire and brimstone? Is it one’s worst fears come to life? Is it an endless nightmare? Is it an eternity of demon torturing? Is it reliving the same horrible day over and over again for forever? What is hell? Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the play “No Exit.” It is an existentialist play. Sartre uses his characters to describe the setting saying, “Yes we have lots of time in hand. All time,” (43) and “... yet we’re in hell.” (17) Garcin, a character in the one act play, thinks that hell is simply other people. This is a running theme in the play as even another character, Inez, says, “I mean that each of us will act as a torturer of the two others.” (17) While many religions have their own versions of hell (like…show more content…
He knows it and he accepts it. He was a terrible person while living. He beat his wife and brought his mistress home often. While telling the story of why he is in hell, he states that, “Night after night I came home blind drunk, stinking of wine and women.” (24) He was hell for his wife, even if she never shed a tear. He even was a deserter in the war. When asked how he died, Garcin replies with, “Twelve bullets through my chest.” (12) The only thing Garcin did not accept was his cowardice. Even though he had twelve bullet holes in his back to prove he was a coward, he refused to believe it. He wanted Inez and Estelle to tell him he was not a coward. Estelle tells him that she loves him but, refuses to admit he is not a coward. Inez refuses to acknowledge him as a coward or at all. In this way he has been isolated into a life of hell. While Garcin isn’t really in the second level of hell, his presence and his mildly barbaric actions (compared to Inez and Estelle) contribute a lot to the second level of hell the girls are forced to spend an eternity…show more content…
She knows it, but she does not accept it. Too involved in her own looks and existence, she cannot see why she is in hell. When Estelle is first asked about why she was condemned to hell, she answers with, “I tell you I haven’t a notion. They wouldn’t tell me why.” (23) She is an adulteress with a dead baby and a suicidal partner to account for but, she still cannot fathom why she possibly could be in hell. Sartre specifically set up Estelle to have no redeeming qualities and out of all three characters, her past life, as far as moral behavior, is the most atrocious. She thinks she has done nothing wrong. She wants to be able to see her reflection and push the memories of the awful things she has done to the back of her mind. She wants to know she is still pretty even in this world where there are only three people, including herself, and no mirrors in sight. Inez offers her assistance and tries to be Estelle’s looking glass, but Estelle does not trust Inez’s judgement because their tastes are not the same. She wants to know if she even still exists because, “when [she] can’t see [herself she] begin[s] to wonder if [she] really truly [does] exist.” (19) Even though Inez assures her of both of these things, she does not trust Inez in fact, she is frightened by her. She relies on Garcin however, he refuses to give her what she wants. In this way, she is sealed into hell for forever. Estelle like the other two characters is in the second level of hell as
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