No Exit

No Exit

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Overview

Fantasy / Characters: 2 male, 2 female

Scenery: Interior

No Exit was first presented in New York at the Biltmore Theatre with Claude Dauphin, Annabella, and Ruth Ford. Two women and one man are locked up together for eternity in one hideous room in hell. The windows are bricked up; there are no mirrors; the electric lights can never be turned off; and there is no exit. The irony of this hell is that its torture is not of the rack and fire, but of the burning humiliation of each soul as it is

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780573613050
Publisher: Samuel French, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/08/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 60
Sales rank: 103,566
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.30(d)

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No Exit 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
alexainAPLit More than 1 year ago
In his play, No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre provides a refreshing perspective on popular culture’s stereotypical interpretation of Hell. A man and two women — Garcin, Inez, and Estelle, respectively — share a virtually empty drawing room with nothing more than a few pieces of furniture. As they enter this Hell, the characters themselves say what we are all thinking: “Where are the torture chambers and fires?” Sartre deliberately changes our conception of Hell to assert the play’s main theme and most iconic line: “Hell is other people.” Sartre does an impressive job with character development, creating three-dimensional characters through backstories as well as mannerisms and interactions with the other characters. Another well-executed factor of the play is the message Sartre conveyed about deception. The characters initially lie to each other about why they ended up in Hell after death. Estelle goes so far as to say that her presence in Hell is a mistake (ironically, we later find out that she had an affair and killed her own child during her time on Earth). However, the truth inevitably comes out and supports Sartre’s notion that it is impossible to hide one’s true self. The high points in the play are those of conflict. For example, toward the end of the play, Estelle grabs a knife and tries to stab Inez to death, only to realize that once one is already dead, injuring them has no effect. Shocking moments like these are a useful way to draw the audience in. Although No Exit contains its fair share of brilliant ideas, every play has its downfalls. In a one act play with a single, minimalistic set, the dialogue must propel the play forward. At times, there is a lull in the writing which makes it hard to stay fully engaged. In addition, Sartre includes excessive sexual encounters. Each character has a sex-related sin that accounts for all or part of why they landed in Hell. Once in Hell, there is a plethora of seduction. Inez, a lesbian, makes multiple attempts to seduce Estelle. Estelle rejects Inez and tries her luck at seducing Garcin, succeeding on one occasion. The back-and-forth seduction attempts take away from the more important themes of the play. Sartre’s No Exit is a fascinating interpretation of Hell. By referring to Hell as “other people,” Sartre designates it as a place that is accessible to those on Earth as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
When a friend asked if I had seen the play or the movie based on Sartre's "No Exit", my curiosity was piqued. I searched online and found a version I could read. In this brief one-act play, Sartre illuminates the human condition and the consequences of behavior. Actions often taken lightly, reverberate and leave disaster in their wake. The three main characters are dead. In life, they were each, in their own way, responsible for a tragic ending. They are now in Hell, where they are forced to explore their sins. They are forced to face them and take responsibility for their actions. There is a purpose and design to the combination of the souls together, in the room with no exit. Ines is a lesbian. She is the most realistic about their plight and is the intuitive foil used to move the play along, used to expose each of the other character's faults. Estelle is consumed with her own vanity, her own image. Garcin is a coward who does not want to face his own weakness or his true self image. All three are in denial about the errors of their ways and their deaths. Each has been involved in an affair of the heart, which ended in dreadful circumstances because of their transgressions. Each has been consumed, in the conduct of their lives, by the selfish satisfaction of their needs, without regard for the pain those actions caused in there aftermath. When at the beginning, Garcin says to the valet: "So one has to live with one's eyes open all the time?", my first thought was, so that is Hell, having to face oneself. Later, near the very end, he says: "Hell Is Other People" and I realized the simplicity of the message the play imparts. Hell is being placed in a situation where you have to face yourself through the eyes of other people, others who are relentless in their effort to expose and judge you, the very thing you avoided during your lifetime, the truth. The three people chosen to be together in the room with no exit, have been condemned to the constant exploration of their character flaws through their intimate conversations. They lay bare the imperfections in each other and, therefore, can no longer hide from their own. Their torture was not physical but emotional and mental. They must constantly face their shortcomings with no hope for redemption. In the same way they tortured others in their lives, with dreadful consequences, they now are tortured by the actions of their "roommates" who are consumed with themselves and their own cruel natures, bent on exposing each other and forcing each to witness the humiliation of their shameful ways and horrible consequences of their shallowness, perhaps over and over through eternity. There is no escape from that kind of Hell.