No Exit Life, Consciousness, Existence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used the translation by S. Gilbert found in No Exit and Three Other Plays, published by Vintage International in 1989.
VALET: That's good! So you haven't yet got over your – what-do-you-call-it? – sense of human dignity? Excuse my smiling. (20)
The valet identifies Garcin’s concern for the physical – a bathroom and a toothbrush – as lingering human dignity. But this idea manifests itself in the emotional as well. Garcin’s concern for his reputation back on earth is another example of the concern for "human dignity."
VALET: Well, yes, that's so – in a way. But you can never be sure about that bell. There's something wrong with the wiring, and it doesn't always work.
GARCIN: It's working all right.
VALET: [Looking surprised] So it is. (55-57)
More dark humor, this time in the stage directions. The valet’s surprise is much like Garcin’s later reaction when the door swings open at the end of the play.
INEZ: Ah, that's the way it works, is it? Torture by separation. (67)
If only! Like Garcin earlier, Inez fears the wrong punishment.