Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Garcin's Bad Faith

In class earlier today, we discussed Garcin's bad faith. When he knocks on the door and the Valet finally opens it, he doesn't leave. The Valet tells him that there is nothing out there but more hallways and doors that lead to rooms like the one he finds himself in. Garcin has an ego problem and wants people on Earth and in Hell with him to believe that he is not a coward. I think that part of Garcin's reason for not leaving through the open door was that one, he is truly and coward, and two, he doesn't want Estelle and Inez to think he's a coward by fleeing through the open door (however, it seems to me that embarking upon a great journey through the unknowns of Hell is mighty brave and courage as opposed to staying in a room where no one can get him, anyway, that's beside the point). I think, that he thinks, that staying with Estelle and Inez will give him the opportunity to convince them that he was not a coward in his actions on Earth and is not a coward in Hell either. So, once he convinces them that he is courageous, he will be able to reassure himself that he is indeed not a coward. This ties into the Gaze and the fact that he lets the Others' perceptions and views determine how he thinks and in turn, his essence.

3 comments:

Cassidy George said...

I agree that Garcin doesn't leave the room out of... cowardice, the very thing he desperately desires not to be. I think Sartre uses his "cowardice" complex to show how limiting bad faith can be in a person's life. Garcin is paralyzed by Estelle and Inez; he needs them to accept him and believe him before he can do anything else. He is stuck in neutral, not able to move forward or backward. Therefore, from an existentialist standpoint, he is not able to enjoy the freedom to ACT: which is seen as essential in "being". Garcin's bad faith leaves him with a sort of non-existance. And subjection to hell for eternity.

Austin Falk said...

I agree with Ian that Garcin does not leave the rooms due to being afraid of what is waiting for him outside of the room and also because he wants to prove he is not a coward to Estelle and Inez. This is kind of a similar situation that Hamlet was in when he struggled with whether or not to avenge his father's death and remain living or simply commit suicide. He said that people want to kill themselves and take an easy way out, but fear of the unknown keeps them from doing so. Garcin, as well makes a choice to stay in the room. This ties to existentialism since one of the main points in it is humans having the ability to make a choice.

Laura N said...

Also,each character lies or at least does not come out with the full truth of their life stories at first. They each are reluctant to be honest about the shameful things that they did because of the gaze. Fear of the gaze, fear of being judged and being perceived in a different way than they perceive themselves causes them to lie to the others and to themselves which in turn causes them to have bad faith. The gaze is a powerful entity that heavily influences, even determines how the characters act....including Garcin staying in order to convince his roommates that he is brave. His staying is ironic and hypocritical because he would have ventured into the unknown which is terrifying; however staying, and accepting one's fate (love of fate) and deciding to deal with it, may also be considered brave and responsible.