No Exit


  • Jean-Paul Sartre


  • No Exit


Brief Summary

The play begins with the Valet leading a man named Joseph Garcin into a room that the audience soon realizes is in hell (hell may be a gigantic hotel, in light of the "rooms and passages" mentioned in the play). The room has no windows, no mirrors, and only one door. Eventually Garcin is joined by Inès Serrano, and then another woman, Estelle Rigault. After their entry, the Valet leaves and the door is closed and locked. All expect to be tortured, but no torturer arrives. Instead, they realize they are there to torture each other, which they do effectively, by probing each other's sins, desires, and unpleasant memories. At first, the three see events concerning themselves that are happening on Earth, but eventually (as their connection to Earth dwindles and the living move on) they are left with only their own thoughts and the company of the other two. Near the end of the play, Garcin demands he be let out; at his words the door flies open, however, none of the three will leave. This is due partly to the substantial heat - though the heat seems to be a psychosomatic effect from anxiety triggers - and fear of the unknown, but can be attributed most to Garcin's desire for validation from Inès that he is not a coward.

See Also

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