No Exit VS Scarlet Letter

No Exit VS Scarlet Letter

Length: 898 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In the two works of literature The Scarlet Letter and No Exit, the relationships between the main characters can be used to question morality, and understand justice. The relationships in both works follow the same principals and trends, despite the time periods they were written in.
In the play No Exit, by Jean Sartre, the author attempts to describe his vision of what Hell is, a subject that many have pondered, but none really know. Sartre was under the impression that Hell had nothing to do with the fire and brimstone, as many people before him believed. He instead voiced his thoughts through the characters of No Exit. “Obviously there aren’t any physical torments…and yet we’re in hell. And no one else will come here. We’ll stay in this room together, the three of us, forever and ever…in short there’s someone absent here, the official torturer…each of us shall act as the torturer of the two others.” (No Exit, p. 22) The three main characters in this play, Inez, Garcin, and Estelle create the hell they were banished to, but not by using the “racks and red-hot pincers” of the past, but by hurting each other in a disturbed form of a “love triangle”, where the love really doesn’t exist.
In this complicated triangle Inez is attracted to Estelle, who is in turn needs a man such as Garcin to desire and notice her. Thus Garcin can hurt Inez by pretending to desire Estelle, or hurt Estelle by not caring. Garcin however, will never be at rest until Inez recognizes that he is not a coward. Thus, the triangle is complete, and the three create hell for each other. Even when they realize the problem, they can do nothing to save each other. “They’ve laid their snare damned cunningly…Alone none of us can save himself or herself; we’re linked together inextricably.”(No Exit p. 38) On top of this, none of the three are very truthful with each other, and any relationship between them is strained at best. This is Sartre’s vision of hell.
Very similar to Sartre’s hell, are the relationships between the characters in The Scarlet Letter. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter the priest of a Puritan settlement, Arthur Dimmesdale commits adultery with a young woman by the name of Hester Prynne. When Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingsworth returns from overseas to find his wife with a newborn baby, and a brilliant scarlet letter across her chest, both constant reminders of her sin, he vows to find her partner and extract his revenge upon him.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"No Exit VS Scarlet Letter." 19 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Feminism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Written in 1850, The Scarlet Letter stood as a very progressive book. With new ideas about women, main characters’ stories intertwined, and many different themes, The Scarlet Letter remains today as a extremely popular novel about 17th century Boston, Massachusetts. Not only was the 19th century a time for the abolition of slavery movement but it was also the beginning of the first wave of feminism. Women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott catalyzed the women’s rights movement....   [tags: the scarlet letter]

Research Papers
550 words (1.6 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Throughout the infamous novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the reader is met with a lot of symbolism, from the rosebush to the scaffold and of course the most obvious symbol of them all, the scarlet letter “A”. While the most evident meaning or symbolism behind the scarlet letter “A” is that it stands for adultery, the scarlet letter can actually represent a lot more depending on the context it is placed in. Throughout the novel, the scarlet letter “A” morphs in meaning. The letter goes from standing for adultery, to strength, growth, ableness, power and much more....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
752 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- Pranav Damera Mr. Mackechnie English Period 6 9 May 2015 “A” in the Scarlet Letter According to Webster Dictionary, adultery is sex between a married person and someone who is not that person 's wife or husband. Even though this is still considered immoral nowadays, it is not dealt with as harshly by countries today as the Puritans. The scarlet letter “A” in the Scarlet Letter has many different meanings throughout the book. The “A” serves as a symbol throughout and helps show the suffering and strength of Hester Prynne as a character....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
1618 words (4.6 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- In the novel the Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character Hester Prynne sinned by committing adultery which changes her identity while she wears the Scarlet Letter. “In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity” (Erik Erikson). The way the scarlet letter defines Hester as someone who sinned in her society. The way that her society reacted to her with the scarlet letter, made her question her identity of who she is with the scarlet letter....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
1343 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Pearl And The Scarlet Letter

- Pearl’s Role In The Scarlet Letter Pearl is Hester’s illegitimate daughter, who can be described as inquisitive, bold, stubborn, and imaginative. Growing up she is obsessed with Hester 's scarlet letter, and proves to be a rather odd child. This is demonstrated by her odd behavior and drastic mood changes. Throughout the novel, Pearl intricately affects the lives of both Hester and Dimmesdale. For Hester, she serves as someone to protect, cherish, and raise, and is even viewed by parts of the community as someone to keep Hester in line....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
937 words (2.7 pages)

The Significance of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter: The Significance of the Letter             Adultery has been around almost as long as people. It has maintained a harsh punishment, from banishment to death, but in the Puritan world of colonial America (from about 1620-1640), its punishment may have been worse than either. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the untruthful union. To punish her for this act, the council of leaders forces her to wear a large “A” on her bosom, to let all know what she has done....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Research Papers
1821 words (5.2 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism - The Letter A in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Symbolism of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter includes many profound and important symbols. This device of symbolism is portrayed well in the novel, especially through the scarlet letter "A". The "A" is the best example because of the changes in the meaning throughout the novel. In the beginning of the novel, the scarlet letter "A" is viewed as a symbol of sin. The middle of the novel is a transition period, where the scarlet letter "A" is viewed differently....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

Essay Metamorphosis of the Letter A in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- The Metamorphosis of “A” in The Scarlet Letter Six Works Cited In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the meaning of the letter "A" changes throughout the novel. This change is significant as it indicates the personal growth of the characters as well as the enlightenment of the townspeople. When the novel begins, the letter "A" is a symbol of sin. As the story progresses the “A” slowly transforms to a symbol of Hester’s strength and ability. By the end of the novel, the letter “A” has undergone a complete metamorphisis and represents the respect that Hester has for herself....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism - The Letter A in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Symbolism of the Scarlet Letter           Authors sometimes use symbols in their novels to represent different objects, people or ideas.  One example is the S on Superman's uniform, which symbolizes him being supper.  In "The Scarlet Letter" Nathaniel Hawthorne creates the symbolism of the letter "A" to have different meanings.  As the novel unfolds, the meanings of the letter "A" on Hester Prynne's bosom changes, from adultery to able to angel.           In the beginning of the novel, Hawthorne describes the letter "A" that lies on Hester's bosom as a symbol of adultery.  Hester is made to wear the letter "A" once the town's people see, that she committed adultery...   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words Essays

- The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words The Scarlet Letter deals with the theme of sin. Throughout history, people have committed all types of sins, and whether they are major or minor, people have been punished. However the severity of a punishment is very difficult to agree on. Some people feel that sinners should be deeply punished no matter how little the wrongdoing was. Others feel that a person's punishment should be based upon the severity of their crime. What many people overlook is the fact that in time, we all have committed sins....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
826 words (2.4 pages)

Related Searches

He discovers that Dimmesdale is indeed the father, and begins to slowly torture the poor priest, changing himself in the meantime from a man into a devil.
The triangle between Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingsworth is remarkably similar to the triangle in No Exit. There is a good deal of mistrust and betrayal between the three. The relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingsworth especially demonstrates the closeness between the two. Chillingsworth and Dimmesdale are intimate companions throughout The Scarlet Letter, and have a physician/patient relationship. However, after Chillingsworth discovers that Dimmesdale was the other man with his wife, he begins to torture Dimmesdale horribly. “He became, thenceforth…a chief actor, in the poor minister’s interior world. He could play upon him however he chose…The victim was forever on the rack.” (The Scarlet Letter p.96) In this manner Chillingsworth tortured Dimmesdale for seven years, until Dimmesdale could take no more of the pain and revealed the deep secret to the world. Dimmesdale was not the only victim however. Chillingsworth was a fairly normal man when he went overseas, and it was Hester and Dimmesdale’s actions that drove him to transform into the devil he became. Also, after Dimmesdale finally absolved himself, and passed on “All his (Chillingsworth) strength and energy-all his vital and intellectual force-seemed at once to desert; inasmuch that he positively withered up, shriveled away.” (The Scarlet Letter p.177) This is how the relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingsworth was very similar to the torturous relationships in No Exit.
In a triangle there are three parts, just as in The Scarlet Letter there were three main characters. The third one, Hester Prynne removed herself from the triangle for many years, living with the scarlet letter on her chest to permanently remind her of her sin, and with a child to do likewise. However, her past actions continued to torture the other two, as well as herself. She blamed herself for the transformation of her former husband, and of Dimmesdale. “Roger Chillingsworth was a striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a devil...The scarlet letter burned on Hester Prynne’s bosom. Here was another ruin, the responsibility of which partly came home to her.”(The Scarlet Letter p.116). This is how Hester was involved in the triangle that Sartre would have called Hell.
Many similarities can be drawn between the two triangles. In both, there is a severe lack of trust between the three members. Each person in the triangle has a way to hurt and torture the other two, and does it, whether consciously or unconsciously throughout both novels. In fact, Sartre might even call the situation that The Scarlet Letter displays “hell on earth.” It is for these reasons that the relationships between the main characters of these two books are similar, one being resolved in the end, and one continuing for eternity.
Return to