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No Exit

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Taryn MacKay

on 2 June 2015

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Transcript of No Exit

Drawing room furnished with Second Empire furniture (Napoleon III’s imperial reign)
Not what’s expected besides being extremely hot
The familiarity demonstrates that Hell can be on Earth
Life is hell
Written in 1940s so the reader assumes it’s contemporary to Sartre’s time in Paris (German Occupation)
Mirrors Sartre’s feelings of imprisonment and constant scrutiny (surveillance by the Nazis)
Sartre believes he’s living in Hell
starts with the Valet leading Garcin into his room in Hell
also leads in Estelle and Inez, which is where the action begins
discover how they are supposed to be each other’s torturers
discuss the sins they committed to land them in Hell
Inez attempts to seduce Estelle, and Estelle attempts to seduce Garcin
Garcin gets irritated with Inez; attempts to force open door, only to find it opens easily
none of them end up leaving, and the novel ends with them sitting back down on the couches and staring at each other
Freedom and Consequences

Humans are free to do everything they want, as long as they are willing to own up to the consequences

•Garcin, Inez, and Estelle learn this concept as they are trapped in Hell

•Humans are free to do everything they want, but all of their actions have consequences. Some consequences might not be immediate, but it may have an impact on future actions.

•The theme also shows a major idea that Sartre believed in: Humans are condemned to be free
Tone and Mood
Literary Devices
Broader Significance
meant to show how humans can be ‘Hell’ or torture, both to themselves and to others
We seek gratification and recognition in others, and the denial of that recognition can cause immense stress (represented by Garcin)
We deny and lie about things in order to make others like us, and have to live with those lies (represented by Estelle)
We are condemned by others for things we cannot change, which can drive us to do things we otherwise might not do (represented by Inez)
Other humans are Hell; play meant to make you more cautious of others by representing this, and to show that everyone can have sins
No Exit
Garcin vs. Self
Estelle vs. Nature (human nature and biological nature)
Inez vs. Society
fast due to it being a play (lack of discription)
dialogue sometimes jumped around (being stream of consciousness esque)
for the most part understandable
Ending seemed very abrupt; left reader wanting more
Point of View
Strengths and Weaknesses
Jean-Paul Sartre
Third person limited (being a play, read as if observers)
Reader knows characters only based on what they say
Characters could be lying or hiding things; reader would not know
Ran a pacifist newspaper, refused to fight in war, and was shot for his cowardice
Desires someone to tell him that he isn’t a coward
Attempts to rationalize emotions
“‘I beg your pardon, who do you suppose I am?’ ‘Why, the torturer, of course’” (Sartre 8)

Desired physical contact/”love”
Wealthy in previous life
Had various affairs, some of which were lethal to the courtesan
Died from pneumonia
“When I can’t see myself I begin to wonder if I really and truly exist” (Sartre 19)

Desires Estelle
Brutally and painfully honest
Died after cousin’s wife blows her up
“I could never bear the idea of anyone’s expecting something of me” (Sartre 15)
Escorts the characters to their drawing room in hell
Never blinks, always watching
“That’s why there’s something so beastly, so damned bad mannered, in the way you stare at me. They’re paralyzed.’ “What are you talking about?’ ‘Your eyelids”

The Paper Knife

Allusion to one of Sartre’s previous works,
Being and Nothingness
Shows the relationship between existence and essence
Everything excluding humans had an essence before it was created; someone needed a paper knife and therefore the paper knife became a thing
Humans were made with no essence, and therefore serve no purpose

Blunt, Direct, Commanding, Serious, Mocking

It’s as if he was instructing the reader or audience how they should interpret the ideas in shown throughout the play
There are very serious part, especially when it is discussing important themes and ideas.
The author also ridicule the actions of the character through the arguments of the character
One character would say or do something, and another character would use sarcasm question that character's the actions.

“Valet: Can’t you see? The lights are on.

Garcin: Ah yes, I’ve got it. It’s your daytime. An outside?

Valet: Outside?

Garcin: Damn it, you know what I mean. Beyond that wall.

Valet: There’s a passage.

Garcin: And at the end of the passage?” (6).

“Estelle: Inez, how dare you? [To Garcin] Don’t listen to her. If you want me to have faith in you, you must begin by trusting me.
Inez: That’s right! That’s right! Trust away! She wants a man - that far you can trust her - she wants a man’s arm round her waist, a man’s smell, a man’s eyes glowing with desire. And that’s all she wants. She’d assure you you were God Almighty if she thought it would give you pleasure” (40).


Dark, Rushed, Suspicious, Suffocated

The characters interact with each other and make a dark atmosphere by continuously torturing each other
Each of them, except for Inez, is trying to seek for their salvation. Therefore, it creates a suffocating atmosphere because the characters are trying to reach salvation, but can’t
The mood of the play is also suffocation because the characters can’t act the way they want to
There is continuous tension and suspicion because the characters don’t trust each other
Mirrors within the play represent the desire of self approval
As Estelle said, when a person doesn’t see themselves, often times they will forget who they are, or that they exist.
Thought provoking
format of the play helps show the focus on the interaction between characters instead of the situation they’re in
Every aspect of the novel seems carefully planned out and intentionally designed to show the theme of the novel.
Many times confusing and fast paced
direct and blunt diction
overall very good though
Full transcript