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Analysis

Literary Devices in No Exit

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

GARCIN: What's this?VALET: Can't you see? An ordinary paper-knife.GARCIN: Are there books here?VALET: No.GARCIN: Then what's the use of this? (57-61) Good question, Garcin. What is going on with th...

Setting

Sartre’s hell is certainly an interesting one. There are no devils, no flames, no torture chambers or souls writhing in agony. It’s just…a drawing room. With French furniture. Wha...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author’s point of view, they don’t all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece o...

Genre

No Exit is composed entirely of manipulative and often sadistic mind games – so we think "drama" and "psychological thriller" speak for themselves. Let’s talk about the more interesting...

Tone

There’s no doubt about it; Sartre is trying to get a point across with No Exit. As we talk about in "Character Analysis," many of Inez’s speeches sound suspiciously like the voice of th...

Writing Style

That’s right. There’s no beating around the bush, for Sartre or for his characters. Of course we can’t forget that we’re dealing with a translation, but still, the majority...

What’s Up With the Title?

No Exit was originally written in French (Sartre being French and all), so the first thing we have to consider is whether "No Exit" is an appropriate translation or not. The title in French is Huis...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Let’s start by taking a look at the ending, the last four lines of No Exit:INEZ: Once and for all. SO here we are, forever. [Laughs.]ESTELLE: [With a peal of laughter] Forever. My God, how fu...

Plot Analysis

Garcin chats it up with the valetWe might have our suspicions, but we can’t be sure yet that Garcin is in hell. Our initial situation is a guy by himself in a drawing room populated by Second...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Overcoming the Monster

Except not really. The problem with assigning this plot to No Exit is that 1) it’s hard to figure out what or who your monster is – bad faith? Other people? And 2) that monster is most...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Garcin, Estelle, and Inez arrive in hell.No one is willing to admit that they’ve done anything wrong. Bad faith rules the day as the three individuals try to figure out what’s going on...

Trivia

The Twilight Zone episode "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" may have been in part inspired by No Exit. (Source)Sartre knew he wasn’t a good-looking guy, and even remarked that he looked...

Steaminess Rating

For adult themes. There’s no sex in No Exit, though Garcin and Estelle dance around the topic for much of the play. There are certainly plenty of stories about sex and relationships from the...

Allusions

Ferdinand Barbedienne (23)W.C. Handy, "The St. Louis Blues" (390)
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