by Jean-Paul Sartre
No Exit Power 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: I didn't. I was a post-office clerk.
ESTELLE: [Recoiling a little.] Ah, yes... Of course, in that case – And you, Mr. Garcin? (156-7)
These stage directions are important. Estelle is guilty not only of defining herself by a social role (a beautiful society woman), but of confining Inez to one as well (a working-class woman). Both of these attempts to label people constitute bad faith.
GARCIN: Look here! Why are we together? You've given us quite enough hints, you may as well come out with it.
INEZ: But I know nothing, absolutely nothing about it. I'm as much in the dark as you are.
GARCIN: We've got to know.
INEZ: If only each of us had the guts to tell – (170-3)
Why DO these three characters ultimately confess their crimes to one another? What are they hoping to achieve by such a confession?
INEZ: Yes, we are criminals – murderers – all three of us. We're in hell, my pets; they never make mistakes, and people aren't damned for nothing. (190)
Even the smallest language hints clue us in to Inez’s character. When she calls Estelle and Garcin "my pets," we get the sense that 1) she’s in charge and 2) there might be ill will to her dominating personality.