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"Hell is other people" How does Sartre demonstrate this during the course of "Huis Clos"

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Justin Barauskas "Hell is other people" How does Sartre demonstrate this during the course of "Huis Clos" During the course of "Huis Clos" Sartre is centred towards an existentialist problem, "Hell is other people". In order to convey this problem Sartre sets his play in a hell-after-life setting with only 3 "dead" characters. These are, Garcin a coward who treated his wife badly, Inez a lesbian who seeks Estelle and Estelle a self centred fussy child murderer. First of all, due to the setting of the play and the small number of characters involved Sartre creates much more tension between the characters and this leads on to them focusing onto their' problems. Through this tight tension I believe Sartre builds up the suspense to the main point of the play that "Hell is other people" much quicker and that this allows the language spoken to be analysed in much more depth. The suspense is built up through characters interacting with each other and thereby by being locked in a room together they have to come into grip with themselves. ...read more.


Bored they look. Half-asleep. They're thinking: "Garcin's a coward." But only vaguely, dreamily. In six months time they'll be saying: "Cowardly as that skunk Garcin." Garcin searches for self-affirmation through the others, tries to remake his past in bad faith by claiming that his intentions should no be measure by what he has done. He is tortured by self doubt and he wants Inez and Estelle to enlighten him to what he wants to believe. This is shown when he tries to say that he ran away from war due to his good intensions of pacifism rather than being a coward. P214 Estelle: Where were you trying to go? Garcin: To Mexico. I meant to launch a pacifist newspaper down there. The main point of how this existentialist problem is displayed throughout the play is I believe through the reaction of others. It is through the reaction of others that they learn that Garcin has "no face left" and especially that Estelle is attractive, through Inez. ...read more.


Inez tries to aim to have complete control over Estelle as she is attracted to her. The existentialist view on this would be that you should reject all external authority and therefore if that was the case there would be no torture between the characters. In a nutshell, Sartre in "Huis Clos" tries to mostly explore on the existential view of rejecting all external authority, the cause of a build up to this problem and the way of solving it by the characters. This is the cause of reaction to others and self-affirmation. As this problem is solved it is realised that the real torture is other people and that concept of it is hell. Sartre tries to demonstrate through his dramatic personae Garcin, Inez and Estelle the search for their self identity and their inescapable freedom of choice. Saying that Garcin, Estelle and Inez are not a coward, lesbian or nymphomaniac the same way as they are a female, male, blond or brunette. They are afraid of change due to their freedom of choice and the are afraid because the position where they are at present before change is firm. ...read more.

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