• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

World Literature Essay- Jean Paul Sartre's representation of Hell

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Name: Lea Heusinger-Jonda Candidate Number: 003854-008 Literature in Translation Essay English A1 Literature Standard Level No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre How does Sartre establish a concept of Hell? Far from the traditional perception of life after death, Jean-Paul Sartre?s conceptual Hell is based on the Existentialist theory revolving around how one is possessed and controlled by the ?other?, as the ?other? defines one?s actions and exterior being. Jean-Paul Sartre, a French philosopher, novelist and playwright, was a leading Existentialist who dealt with the nature of human life and the structures of consciousness in his philosophies. His play ?No Exit? clearly illustrates the conflict of otherness[1] and the underlying argument established throughout the play is that ?Hell is other people?[2]. Using only three characters and a single room, Sartre evokes a new concept of Hell, and concludes that Hell is not a physical place, but that it is in fact all around us; a man made concept driven by our choices and actions. This concept is further underlined through Sartre?s use of visual set construction, the characters? dependency on one another, their internal conflict and the idea of competitive subjectivity. ...read more.

Middle

Thus Garcin believes that it is Inez whom he has to convince that he is not a coward, as he will otherwise be defined as one, unable to escape the ?others?? judgment. Estelle, like Garcin is unwilling to see herself objectively. She does not want to accept that she is in Hell, and claims: ?I tell you I haven?t a notion [why I?m here].?[14] This shows the disunity within her character, as she acts innocent but is in fact a murderer. Sartre uses this disunity to show that without ?the other?, the characters are unable to judge and comprehend their actions in life objectively. Sartre?s concept of Hell consists of forcing the characters to be confronted with the objective view of their actions and mistakes in life. Sartre develops the idea of competitive subjectivity to further substantiate the concept of Hell. If you are looking at a person, they become an object and you become the subject.[15] However, as soon as there is another person in the room, they reduce you to an object and become a subject as well. You lose your subjectivity as soon as another person is looking at you. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the play, the characters realize that everything they do, think or feel, is shaped by the gaze of ?others?. What it means to be a hero, villain or coward cannot be defined internally, but only by the external actions and judgment of others. While people are able to escape objective self-reflection in life, Sartre?s Hell is a place where this cannot be avoided. Sartre proclaims in one of his works that, ?Man is only what he does. Man becomes what he chooses to be.?[24] While Inez has accepted that her actions and choices in life have defined her as a bad person, Garcin and Estelle need the ?other? to define them objectively, as they have lived their lives in ?bad faith?[25]. The presence of the ?other? is what makes up Sartre?s concept of Hell. The characters in Sartre?s play let themselves be detained by means of the ?others? judgment, which will eventually become their own. The concept of Hell is thus established through the inability of the characters to then surpass this ?arbitrary image?.[26] Although Sartre concludes that ?Hell is other people?, he also believes that only a man in ?bad faith? is at the mercy of ?the other?.[27] Sartre?s concept of Hell can be combated through freedom of choice, action and accepting one?s responsibility in life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Analysis - "Exposure" by Wilfred Owen

    The phrase "doors are closed" is repeated twice in one line, which emphasises that life is over and there is no coming back. It is the beginning of an end. The last phrase of this stanza goes "We turn back to our dying".

  2. Romanticism essay. Romanticism was a movement in the fine arts and literature that ...

    of pantheism also evident in the two previous poems to show how we can relate ourselves to nature. In the sestet, the composer is now calling those to spend time observing the sea, 'eyeballs/feast them/wideness of the Sea'. He is telling humans to turn to nature when they are 'tired',

  1. Personnages Jean de Florette

    Plus tard, elle va chanter � Marseille avec Victor P�rissol. Elle devient la marraine du petit Jean. 15) Manon des sources (1) La fille de Jean Cadoret. Dans le premier livre, elle avait l'�ge de 10-11 ans. D�j� maintenant, elle n'aime pas Ugolin, elle le trouve laid.

  2. Macbeth extended essay - the aim of this investigation is to state how ambition ...

    However, he felt guilty and his body was full of fear after he killed Duncan. After he got the throne, he orders his men to kill Macduff and Banquo. Macbeth feels that they are threats to his kingship. The result is the death of Banquo and Macduff's family.

  1. Women in Literature

    Materialization can evidently link to themes of a text in many ways, one of which that has not been touched on is the physical "closeness" of each other and more simply the non-sexual physical details of women. "Together again, Marie and I swam out a ways, and we felt a closeness as we moved in unison and were happy."

  2. lord of flies essay

    We're going to hunt pigs and get meat for everybody. And we'll look for the snake too."(36) Jack makes the mistake of considering what would happen if there were to be a beast. He should have just stopped at "There is no beast."

  1. Lord of the Flies Allegory Essay

    Another noteworthy symbol is the beast. In the imaginations of the children, the beast is a tangible and palpable being, and that it is the provenance of evil on that island. However, it exemplifies the evil that subsists within us all.

  2. Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapters 7,8,9 and 10

    * Simon fears that this instinct lies within him too. o He "hears" the Lord of the Flies speaking threatening him with what he fears the most. * "There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm the Beast.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work