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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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No Exit

No Exit

Themes

Jean-Paul Sartre uses his play No Exit to explore many of the existentialist themes discussed in his philosophical treatise Being and Nothingness. Most prominently, No Exit focuses on the ideas of competitive subjectivity, the look and others, objectification, and bad faith. One of the characters in this play – Inez Serrano – comes close to having the perspective of an existentialist, maybe even that of Sartre himself. Her advice to her companions in hell resembles Sartre’s arguments Sartre in Being and Nothingness.

Questions About Philosophical Viewpoints: Existentialism

  1. Had Inez not burst the lovebirds’ bubble at the end of the play, could they indeed have "climb[ed] out of hell," as Garcin suggests?
  2. Are Garcin and Estelle interested in each other for sex, or for love? What’s the difference (for an existentialist)?
  3. What examples of existential absurdity do we see in No Exit?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The character of Inez embodies the opinions and ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre.

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