by Jean-Paul Sartre
No Exit Suffering 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.
What a crowd in Whitefriars Lane!
Come, good folks, to Whitefriars Lane,
Come to see the merry show!
The headsman rose at the crack of dawn,
He’d a long day’s work at hand,
Chopping heads off generals,
Priests and peers and admirals (209)
It’s probably not an accident that Inez sings a song about public executions (and how much fun they are to watch). Yet another hint that we’re dealing with a sadist here.
ESTELLE: Oh, how I loathe you! [She sobs tearlessly]
GARCIN: Nothing doing. Tears don't flow in this place. (338-9)
How is the inability to shed tears another form of torture?
GARCIN: Well, I, anyhow, can feel sorry for you, too. Look at me, we're naked, naked right through, and I can see into your heart. That's one link between us. Do you think I'd want to hurt you? I don't regret anything, I'm dried up, too. But for you I can still feel pity. (369)
Garcin thinks compassion – or "human feeling" as he calls it – is what he and the others share – the common ground between them. In fact, No Exit shows that the need to torment others is what they share.