No Exit Study Guide

No Exit Study Guide

Original title:
Huis clos

One of the most famous existential works, “No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre is a source of inspiration for lots of modern writers and playwrights. The depiction of Hell as a very comfortable and hospitable place was something new for the audience of that time. But when the plot of the story starts to unwind, we understand the main idea that the author tries to tell us: the hell is inside of people and it can be brought to any place to make their existence miserable.

Writing such a magnificent play demands deep understanding of human psychology and brilliant play with events that are insignificant at the first glance, that in the end fall into the complete picture.

The three main characters are depicted so precisely and their intents are so antagonistic to each other that their cohabitation can’t be anything but Hell, no matter how cozy their “suite” is. But another question that torments us throughout the whole play is: is it possible for them to overcome their own flaws, accept their failures, and work out a compromise? The answer is yes. It is completely possible to calm down the feelings - any feelings if you have all the eternity before you as our characters. The most horrible in Hell is the fact that it is handmade. All the “visitors” are willingly immersing themselves into pain and torture, making their relationships as terrible as possible.

The title of the play is very sarcastic. The exit exists - maybe not from the “suite”, but from the desperate situation the characters are in - but they are willingly oblivious to it. Their self-righteousness, their traumas and fears don’t allow them to understand each other and give up some of their desires to the general benefit. Even if the one of them seems ready to do so, the other two unite against them and the mutual hate returns the status quo.

The book is one of the most powerful depiction of tortures the people can inflict on themselves and each other, despite not a drop of blood is shed until the last page.

New Essays

No Exit Quotes with Page Number

“I'm going to smile, and my smile will sink down into your pupils, and heaven knows what it will become.” — — “Hell is—other people!” — Page 56 — “You are -- your life, and nothing else.” — — “So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers...

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"No Exit's" central themes of freedom and responsibility come from Sartre's doctrine that existence precedes essence. Sartre believed that a being-for-itself differed from inanimate objects, or a being-in-itself, since humans have the ability to choose and define their individual characteristics...

No Exit

Krystin Tavares This paper is free of punctuation errors. Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit is a symbolic definition of Sartrean existentialism that entails characters pretending to be something they are not through themes “self-deception” and “bad faith,” which satisfies Sartre’s “philosophical...

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