Hell Being Other People in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Play No Exit

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Sanaa M. Mahdi


In modern world, hell is not the punishment but the society in which we live and the people who surround us. Through their interference in our affairs, those people make our life miserable and look like hell. This research deals with Jean Paul Sartre's play No Exit (1944) illuminating the afterlife of the others. He used three dead characters that are punished by being imprisoned into a room together for eternity. He symbolizes the room as a hell in order to represent the real world around us. Their coming into this small hell shows their indispensability to one another. They represent the essential idea of the play that others are torture for us. By emphasizing on the notion of hell being other people, Sartre shows that man's pain, suffering, depression are due to others. By repeating his prominent line 'Hell is Other People', Sartre concentrates on the relation of people that is always conflict; meaning that other people just being annoying. For him, the mere presence of another person will definitely trouble the others due to his interference in private matters. For that reason, Sartre portrays hell as a room with no torture or flames as the real torture is the presence of others. Through concentrating on the nature of man's existence, Sartre can reveal the problems of both man and society as well.


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Mahdi, S. M. (2020) “Hell Being Other People in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Play No Exit”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(1), pp. 132-136. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v3n1y2020.pp132-136.
Author Biography

Sanaa M. Mahdi, Department of English Language, College of Arts, Al-Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, Iraq

Sanaa M. Mahdi, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English language, College of Arts, Al-Mustansiriyah University. She holds a M.A. in English Literature- Novel (2002) from University of Baghdad, Iraq and Ph.D. In English Literature- Drama (2011) from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University – India. She has published over 10 researches and attending many scientific conferences. Currently, she is Working at English Department, College of Arts, Al-Mustansiriyha University


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