Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris on June 20, 1905, and died there April 15, 1980. He studied philosophy in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure 1924– 1928. After that he taught philosophy for a while in a number of lycées, in Paris and Le Havre.
Above all else Jean-Paul Sartre is remembered for his existential philosophies presented in his writing. Even Sartre himself referred to his works as existential. Existentialism is based on the free will of man.
The development of Sartre's existential philosophies came during and after World War II and largely in reaction to the totalitarianism of Hitler, who forced people to support his beliefs or perish. Because the people of Europe were totally disillusioned after the war, they claimed that life seemed absurd and questioned if there really was a God. As a result, many of them could easily accept Sartre's existential beliefs, and he became a popular writer.
The Second World War began on 3 September 1939 when France declared war on Germany. The German terms were draconian. North and eastern France were occupied. Then in the summer of 1944 the allies liberated France.
Faced with the humiliation of defeat and the suffering of war and occupation, Sartre examined many of his questions about existence with respect to World War II. For example, No Exit, which takes place in a room in hell occupied by three people who can't stand each other, has often been compared to living in Paris during the German occupation.
In this context, Sartre examined such issues as freedom, self-deception, and the nature of time in the play to help fellow French men and women cope with the ordeal of defeat both during the war and after.
The fundamental premise,, that “existence precedes essence,” is a rejection of the Platonic idea that somewhere, in a perfect existence, there is the ideal human that we should all aspire to become. Existentialism claims that we as human beings have no model, blueprint, no ideal essence, or perfect nature for humans. Rather, we must forge our own values and meaning from existing in an inherently meaningless or absurd world. Giacometti
Another characteristic of Existentialism, is the belief that humans do have free will. In our existence, we are constantly faced with choices, choices from which we can not escape, since even choosing not to choose or act is a choice. I Can Choose!
Existence Before Essence- - As Sartre said, “man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Such is the first principle of existentialism.” We discover what it means to be human only by existing.
Humanism: The view that people are capable of free choice, self-fulfillment, and ethical behavior—and the world is a good place in which we can flourish. Existentialism: The view that people have free will and are responsible for their own behavior—but our existence is lonely in a universe that seems to care little for what is best in us.
Three characters are trapped in hell, but there are no instruments of torture or pits of fire. Rather, the setting is a living room containing only Second Empire furniture: there are no windows, no mirrors, and no signs of the outside world except for a single, locked door.
The first thing we have to consider is whether "No Exit" is an appropriate translation or not. The title in French is Huis Clos, which literally means "in camera" or "in private" or "behind closed doors."
Joseph Garcin Estelle Rigault Inez Serrano The Valet - Garçon Olga Peter Gomez Florence
Garcin, Estelle, and Inez arrive in hell. They are all alone; they ‘re not especially aware of the presence of other people. (If they’re watching other people in the room, they are in any event not really regarding them as subjects BUT AS OBJECTS
No one is willing to admit that they’ve done anything wrong. “Bad faith” rules the day as the three individuals try to figure out what’s going on and what they should do without owning up to their actions or making any decisions.
Garcin trys to be hero. But he never make himself hero, just like that. He can never define himself in that way.But Inez can do it to him. She decides whether Garcin is hero or not. She passes judgment, projects her values on things — including Garcin. She sees Garcin as he really is.
Estelle recognize herself in the Other’s judgments of her — even though she may not know what they are. The fact of the matter is that Inez cannot be defined by the Other’s look in this way. She is a story that is still being told, and the attempt to judge the story before it is finished is just premature. There is nothing yet to define.
Inez thinks objectivity.Objectivity is being-in-itself. It is uncreated, it is self-identical, it is everything that is non-conscious and non-free. It is simply what it is.
Everyone breaks down and admits their crimes. They all figure out that they’re in a cafeteria-style hell, as Inez puts it, and are fated to be each other’s torturers. Garcin then chooses hell, essentially for all three of them, and resigns them all to an eternity of mental torment.
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory Actually, the paper-knife is a reference to Sartre’s philosophical treatise, Being and Nothingness. In the philosophical work, Sartre explains the fundamental existential tenet, "Existence precedes essence."
Isolation Lies and Deceit Philosophical Viewpoints: Existentialism Freedom and Confinement Suffering Power Life, Consciousness, Existence Courage
"Hell is – other people!” All of the arguments, reasoning, debates, and questions in No Exit have led the three main characters – and the audience – toward this indisputable conclusion: hell is other people. That’s why there’s no need for hot pokers or other torture devices. That’s why hell is simply three people in a room together.
If hell is other people, then it is because we have made it so -- it is because we have allowed other people to shape our reality. Our self- actualization, in this hell, is completely dependent upon the approval of others.
Hell, therefore, is not other people -- hell is being other people. Heaven is being yourself...