No Exit And Existentialis Essay Research Paper

No Exit And Existentialis Essay, Research Paper Jean-Paul Sartre’s portrayal of Hell in No Exit is fueled with dramatic irony, implemented in order to amuse the reader. Sartre’s illustration

No Exit And Existentialis Essay, Research Paper

Jean-Paul Sartre’s portrayal of Hell in No Exit is fueled with dramatic

irony, implemented in order to amuse the reader. Sartre’s illustration

of Hades is very psychological, and instead of Satan agonizing you,

three roommates take to the task. They each in turn irritate and

aggravate one another, thus making themselves hysterical, and thus

producing dramatic irony. In addition to a door that will not open,

and living in a windowless room, all three characters possess no

eyelids, and thus are unable to sleep. For relief, they conspire with

one or the other, but that merely plunges them further into the

inevitable distress of Hell. Throughout the play, the dramatic irony

that occurs between Inez, Estelle, and Garcin enriches the meaning and

effect of the play in a postive form, despite the psychological plot

evokes a disturbing, aggravating scenario– which is in accordance to

the typical view of Hell. This eerie play is successful in creating a

positive perspective to the existentialism philosophy, and in addition

stirs up a scenario in which readers learn from such provocative


Moreover, it is weighty to realize that the lessons of existentialism–

such as the role of personal responsibility, the bleak position of

mankind in the universe, and the fact that being stuck with boorish

people is the worst punishment ever conceived– are no longer

revelations. What was avant-garde a half-century ago has since been

digested and regurgitated by the mainstream. The existential theme of

the play may be pass to modern society, that one may not learn, or even

so much as benefit from it.

Firstly, Sartre’s strong association with the existentialism philosophy

is exemplified in No Exit. It is a portrayal that life in Hell is just

the same as life on Earth, perhaps the only difference being that their

travesties are magnified. As the lives of Inez, Estelle, and Garcin

continue in Hell, their main torment is the one thing that they were

never able to achieve on Earth. So due to the consequences of their

actions, they eternally suffer in Hell. This presents a contrasting

view to one tenet of existentialism, something which Sartre was heavily

affiliated with. If there were no ill consequences, on what grounds

would people be sent to Hell? Or Heaven for that matter? This new

view brings to light the absurdity of life. What did Garcin do in

order to be sent to Hell for all eternity? He was just a coward who

claimed to be a Pacifist. And that is something he chose to do in

life; an action that relied on his free will. The dramatic irony is

that he must endure the embarrassment of his mortal life all over again

in his immortal life, merely for exercising his free will. Through

this, Sartre not only insinuates the absurdity of life, but also the

bleakness that humanity serves. By incorporating such views, he sets

up a condition that horrifies the reader, yet inspires satire. At the

beginning of the play, Inez asks Garcin if he is the torturer, from

which Garcin replies that he no such thing. From this, Garcin is blind

to realize that she is the torturer, merely mistaken for a casual human

being. Such dramatic irony enriches the existentialist views inspired

in the play, and it works for both lovers and haters of the

philosophy. It creates the perspective that you’re damned if you do,

and you’re damned if you don’t. This is a perspective that you’ll love

if you’re an existentialist, and something you’ll hate if you’re not.

The effects of No Exit may cause a reader to oppose existentialism, but

whatever the case may be, it surely provokes the reader to think about

the cause and effects of life. Living a life that wasn’t meant to be

lived by you completely falsifies your identity. This was Garcin’s

case, and his torturer was Inez, who knew in truth that he was a

coward. Inez, the cold, apathetic clerk, had Estelle as her torturer,

and Estelle would only surface unrequited love. Estelle, the femme

fatale, remained tortured because she could never get Garcin to love

her, as he is the only man within her reach. This is the main

ingredient that produces the dramatic irony throughout the play. With

Inez tormenting Garcin, Garcin tormenting Estelle, and Estelle

tormenting Inez, each without realization that they are each others

“Satan”, a strong irony is presented. This irony affects the reader in

such a way that they learn it is not people which create our madness,

but more the way we feel toward them. Madness cannot root from other

people’s actions, but it can root from the effects of their actions.

This is exactly the reason why believers in existentialism are

apathetic to life, as they are never mad from other people’s actions,

but essentially mad at their effects. Take for example, Estelle. She

is a woman driven mad because of Garcin and his failure to tribute any

of his masculine attention to her. Estelle is not mad from his

actions, but more so at the effect of his actions on her. If she were

apathetic to his apathy, all would be fine. And if Garcin were

apathetic to Inez, and Inez to Estelle, Hell would be brought down, and

existentialism would triumph. Sartre subtly praises the existentialism

philosophy in this, as he is basically saying, we should all be

apathetic and all will be fine. And looking at it from a whole, this

is the final ingredient that creates the dramatic irony in the play.

In conclusion, No Exit is a play that presents a positive perspective

on the existentialism philosophy. Through illustrating three people

going mad and incorporating the tenets of existentialism, the reader is

hinted that it is better to be apathetic to the absurdity of life,

rather then to get all worked up from it.