by Jean-Paul Sartre
No Exit Philosophical Viewpoints: Existentialism 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.
INEZ: To forget about the others? How utterly absurd! I feel you there, in every pore. Your silence clamors in my ears. You can nail up your mouth, cut your tongue out – but you can't prevent your being there. Can you stop your thoughts? I hear them ticking away like a clock, tick-tock, tick-tock, and I'm certain you hear mine. It's all very well skulking on your sofa, but you're everywhere, and every sound comes to me soiled because you've intercepted it on its way. Why, you've even stolen my face; you know it and I don't! And what about her, about Estelle? You've stolen her from me, too. (262)
It is Inez who so incisively articulates Sartre’s ideas of competitive subjectivity. Again we see that she is the character who most embodies the author’s perspective.
[Estelle presses the bell-push, but the bell does not ring. Inez and Garcin laugh.] (319)
In "What’s Up With the Ending" we talk about laughter in No Exit. Is laughter a sadistic response in this play?
GARCIN: Of course. Well, Estelle, am I a coward?
ESTELLE: How can I say? Don't be so unreasonable, darling. I can't put myself in your skin. You must decide that for yourself. (447)
Estelle is very much correct here. According to Sartre, Garcin should look to himself for judgment, not to others.