Punishment in Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit

Jean Paul Sartre's play, "No Exit," describes the eternal punishment of three characters, Garcin, Ynez and Estelle, and their physical and mental torments, together and individually. A mysterious valet puts them in one room that has no windows or mirrors and with only one door that is closed. The lights never turn out and the three characters have no hope of ever leaving this particular room, garnished with Second Empire furniture (Sartre 1960), What heightens the torment is their mutual hatred that will stay with them and punish one another without end.
Garcin is a coward who deserted his country at war time and who also cheated on and mistreated his wife. Inez finally admits ...

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are all already dead. The door finally opens, symbolizing escape, but Garcin does not escape through it. Confronting their failure to respond to the inner responsibility to be free, he perceives life as absurd and hell as "other people."
The morality play's theme is freedom and responsibility and this derives from Sartre's belief that "existence precedes essence," the tenet of the Existential Movement. Sartre believed that human consciousness, or "being-in-itself," enables the individual to choose and define his own essence. An inanimate object, or "being-in-itself," does not possess this ability. Human consciousness, however, is bridled with the absolute responsibility for the actions or decisions it makes, which an inanimate object does not.
In the play, Garcin becomes unable to escape through the open door because he refuses to acknowledge and handle the responsibility of confronting his decision to desert his country at war. Instead, he pleads to Inez to judge and determine ...

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Sartre's questions the existence of anything, views the universe as irrational and without meaning, and that neither life nor death has a purpose or explanation. Therefore, he saw man as existing only to become the person he chooses to be and that was something that he had to do with his political, social and moral concerns. But he noted that man seldom recognizes, accepts and uses his freedom to establish his own standards for himself and to become what he wishes to be. He saw that man, thus, refuses to accept responsibility for his own behavior, especially towards his failures. Instead, he deceives himself about his true being and lives a life of self-deception, fear and misery. Because ...

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Punishment in Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit. (2016, June 12). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Punishment-Jean-Paul-Sartres-No-Exit/105694
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Added: 6/12/2016 07:49:07 AM
Category: Film & Theater
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2523
Pages: 10

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