Thursday, April 6, 2017

Exits and Choice

At one point in No Exit, Garcin bangs on the door and it opens up to him, but neither he, Estelle, or Inez make any effort to leave. Just a moment before, Garcin said that he would endure any physical torture if he could escape the mental agony cause by being alone in the room with the two women, but he proves himself wrong by not acting. Instead, he says that he wants to stay in order to convince Inez that he is not a coward and that his sin was unjust. This would go against the existentialist belief that we make our own choices and are defined by how we act because he is trying to put the blame on someone other than himself. Therefore, he is living in bad faith, just like Inez and Estelle. I think that since they somewhat know each other, they would rather be together in the room for eternity than venture out into the unknown of hell. It is clear that even in hell, they had a choice of whether or not to leave, and most likely decided upon the cowardly choice.

7 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

In Hamlet, he said people are afraid to die because they fear the unknown and they are cowards. It's the same situation here because all 3 people won't leave because they would rather stay in the known. For all they know, it was a test an they would've been free if they had gone out. However, they completely went against existentialist beliefs by being cowards.

Brooke Williamson said...

In No Exit, Sartre makes a point to say "hell is other people." I think this is significant because others' actions and choices, like Joseph mentioned, impact the surrounding people. Inez, Garcin, and Estelle all react to being placed in hell in their own way. Since they are stuck together in hell, these reactions ultimately affect the two others. This shows the action and reaction or cause and effect of one's actions on other people.

Savannah Watermeier said...

I think Garcin doesn't leave because he needs approval. He says he wants to leave, but I don't think that is actually true. I also agree with Rickeia's comparison to Hamlet. I think all these characters are only lying to themselves about leaving, an example of bad faith.

Bailey Taylor said...

They can leave but choose not to because freedom is overwhelming. Having to make your own choices and being responsible for everything you do is overwhelming. This is why they choose not to leave

Luke Jeanfreau said...

This scene is really the embodiment of the concept of the Gaze. Garcin is, in fact, in control of his own actions, but his decision is affected by the other beings around him. Inez represents what is called "the Other". You can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism#The_Other_and_the_Look

Julia Scofield said...

I do not actually think that Inez was the real reason why he decided to stay. I think that he sort of used her as an excuse. It is much easier to say that he needs to prove himself to her and to sort of blame her then to just say straight out that you're a coward. But, this only proves that he is a coward more.

Dylan Bryan said...

Garcin chooses not to leave because he is scared of the unknown, and after all, being a coward is what lead him to hell. When he was alive, instead of facing a challenge straight on he ran from it, hopping on aa train and abandoning all his contemporaries. I agree with Bailey in that the freedom of choice him, and Garcin chose to stay in what he knows rather than face something possibly worse. His decision keeps him in his own personal hell not just physically, but also mentally as he again has proven to be a coward.