No Exit Text Questions:Think about the place you have chosen as your hell. Does it look ordinary and bourgeois, like Sartre's drawing room, or is it equipped with literal instruments of torture like Dante's Inferno?
Can the mind be in hell in a beautiful place? Is there a way to find peace in a hellish physical environment? Enter Sartre's space more fully and imagine how it would feel to live there endlessly, night and day:
I have never really thought about what hell would be like. I have never characterized it by instruments of torture or dark, fiery infernos. Hell is different for every person, I think that is what makes it so frightening; it is individualized to make sure that every person is equally miserable. You must pay for your sins, and your payment depends on what makes you most miserable. Basically, my hell would be a combination of both Dante's and Sartre's. Similar to Dante, the punishment would worsen depending on the sin, and similar to Sartre, the punishment would be individualized for every person. To be able to find peace in a hellish environment would be very difficult, especially for the type of people that are damned there. Their minds are filled with fear and excuses. Most sinners don't believe that they deserve punishment for what they do. The sinners that do accept punishments are forgiven and don't go to hell. Being stuck in a hellish situation night and day with no escape would drive me absolutely mad. Even people who are forgiven would not be able to handle conditions like that.
Could hell be described as too much of anything without a break? Are variety, moderation and balance instruments we use to keep us from boiling in any inferno of excess,' whether it be cheesecake or adultery?
Yes, at least my interpretation of it. Endlessness is enough to drive anyone mad. It is the perfect torture device. This is why people don't stick to doing the same thing over and over. There are always factors changing around us.
How does Sartre create a sense of place through dialogue? Can you imagine what it feels like to stay awake all the time with the lights on with no hope of leaving a specific place? How does GARCIN react to this hell? How could you twist your daily activities around so that everyday habits become hell? Is there a pattern of circumstances that reinforces the experience of hell?
Dialogue gives a sense of emotion to perceptions of surroundings. The severity in which surroundings are received impact the audience. Garcin impatiently questioning the vallet shows his fear and helplessness. I love change, and sleep. I can't imagine how incredibly awful it would be to stay awake all the time in the same place with no changes. Garcin takes hell in internally. He tries to ignore it, but bottles his fears up inside. In an ordinary day, if you enjoy what you do so you repeat it, is doesn't necessarily mean that it's hell. Eventually someone will grow tired of the repetition and change their routine. This isn't possible in real hell. In real life I would picture hell as someone stuck doing an uneventful job that they hate and can't get out of.
The Cave vs No Exit:
- The texts have similar themes of the development from ignorance to understanding.
- Although, the plots are almost flipped. In The Cave, the prisoners begins in the dark punishment of the cave (almost like hell) and are set free and enlightened. In No Exit, the sinners begin in the light of life and are damned to hell as a punishment for their sins.
- There's the obvious fact the one is a play and one is an allegory.
- They both have multiple people facing punishment together.
- They prisoners in both texts must face situations different from the lives that they new.
- The tone of No Exit is darkly humorous while the tone of The Cave is almost dank and optimistic at the same time, almost encouraging at points.
- In No Exit, the absence of mirrors symbolizes the characters having to perceive themselves through others eyes. In The Cave, the shackles and darkness symbolize the prisoners unwillingness to break free of their thoughts and become enlightened with the world outside.
In class/ reading notes: