Study Guide

Nausea Isolation

By Jean-Paul Sartre

Isolation

It's not easy being green, and it's really not easy thinking that you're the only person in the world who understands the truth about existence.

As you can imagine, it can also get a little bit isolating. Antoine's feelings of loneliness only make life harder for him, because being isolated from others takes away his options for distracting himself from the depressing conclusions he's made about the meaninglessness of human life. There are several points in Nausea where he tries to reach out to others (especially with his ex lover Anny), but even in these moments, his ideas about life make him unable to connect with people.

Questions About Isolation

  1. In your opinion, is Antoine responsible for his own feelings of isolation? Use examples from the text to support your answer.
  2. Would Antoine's life be better if he just "snapped out of it" and learned to do things for others instead of always worrying about himself?
  3. If you sat down with Antoine at a café, what would you say to him? How long would you want to be around him?

Chew on This

In Nausea, Antoine is a self-indulgent, antisocial jerk who will be a lot happier if he just learns to get over himself.

In Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre shows us that sometimes we have to isolate ourselves if we want to see the truth about life and existence.