Wednesday, February 20, 2013

hell is other people


If man existed in a world by himself, he would not be subject to the judgements, values or interaction with others. The human condition is incredibly influenced by interaction with community. It is often that our worst feelings: heartbreak, inferiority, insecurity- are stemmed from the actions and opinions of others. To coexist is an arduous task. Other people create a sort of psychological hell. We fear them, their actions, judgements, etc. We desire them. They often control our opinion of ourselves. They have the power to control us and our emotions. 

5 comments:

Ian J said...

Cassidy's thoughts are very insightful, and I'd like to add my own two cents. It think the argument to the quote, "Hell is other people", is two-sided. Hell can certainly be other people, especially if you don’t like the other person or he or she does not like you that are stuck in Hell with. You will make the other person miserable and vice versa. Everything you do or say will make the other person feel horrible. However, on the flip side, what if the person you were with was someone you liked or cared about. In that case Hell wouldn't be other people. If you really enjoy the company of that other person, you will certainly not feel like you are in Hell when around them. You will enjoy yourself and the happiness and partnership you bring each other.

Austin Falk said...

I agree with Cassidy's point. I also believe that it can be tied to the mirror theme in No Exit. Although no actual physical mirrors exist in Hell, I believe the three characters Garcin, Estelle, and Inez act as mirrors for each other. Estelle is addicted to looking in the mirror so she can see herself. However, in Hell, her only mirrors are Garcin and Inez who are free to look at her and judge her while she cannot see herself. This ties to the point that "Hell is other people." The characters are judged only by the others while locked in Hell and cannot see themselves.

Tyler Dean said...

I agree. Without other people, there really would be no life. Even with people, however, life is a very nerve racking existence. One has to worry about the gaze and what other people think and this can make you really not enjoy life. Other people make life life as we know it, but they also make the lives that we live like hell. Other people's opinions run our lives in a way, and Sartre is saying that our life is like that because we let other people dictate what we do and how we act. If we ignored others and made our own conscious decisions than life would be better off overall.

Linz A said...

Was I the only one who wondered why Garcin and the others refered to Earth as "Down there". Usually we think of Hell being the place below, but in this case it is not so. But then I got to thinking about the line "Hell is other people." If that is so, then Earth must be true Hell, which might explain why Earth is "down there." In this case, Earth is also a type of hell since every day is spent in the company of other people.

Ben Bonner said...

I don't think you necessarily have to be surrounded by people you don't like in order for the statement "Hell is other people" to be true. I think that to an extent, humans naturally gravitate toward conflict. No one gets along 100% of the time, even with their best friends. I think I would go crazy if I had to spend eternity with anyone.