No Exit Essay - Sartre

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No Exit Essay by Tessa Hoek 6ve

In No Exit the alienation of the characters from their environments is essential for the expression of existentialist ideas. Throughout the play, Sarte exposes existentialist values to his audience. He could not have done this more understandably and perceptibly for his audience since he lifts three characters of different backgrounds that people can identify with out of their usual environments. Sartre managed to express existentialist ideas by lifting his main characters out of their usual environments and bring them together, so that a philosophical Hell is created.

By lifting characters out of their usual environments and reassign them with different persons, the differences in values become clear. In Sartre’s No Exit three completely different persons are forced together in a boring, almost empty room. As there is nothing else to do, they soon start talking to one other. At this point, the differences between them became visible. Inez is a working class lesbian woman, and as she speaks sh uses tough language. She refers to herself as a ‘damned bitch’ and to the three of them as ‘deads’. Estelle, an upper-class wealthy lady, however insists on calling themselves ‘absentees’ rather than ‘deads’. Then thirdly, Garcin, a journalist from Rio de Janairo does not want to talk at all. He wants rest and time to sort out the life he used to have, which one of the ladies claims to have done already. These differences between the three main characters and their conflicting values continue throughout the whole play. The reason why those differences are endless are the characters’ ultimately distinct backgrounds. They come from different places, are used to different cultures, used to have different jobs and had different experiences in their lives. For this reason they developed different values and beliefs which are conflicting now that they are placed together with nothing else but themselves and each other.

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