22 May 2015
No Exit and The Stranger-How do they have 3 elements of existentialism?
In No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre and The Stranger by Alber Camus, the two authors both explored their own versions of existence, forming part of the philosophy of existentionalism. Existentialistic ideas came out of a time in society when there was a deep sense of despair following the Great Depression and World War II. This literature burgeoned from a generation that had lost everything, and were therefore questioning their existence. It is a philosophy concerned with finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. The characters in No Exit and The Stranger display alienation, fear, and freedom; attributes of existentionalism that convey the separate and specific philosophy of Sarte and Camus.
The characters in No Exit, by Jean-Paul Sarte display three main elements of existentialism; alienation and estrangement, fear and trembling, and freedom. The Valet embodies alienation and estrangement through his indifferent attitude. The Valet simply shows Garcin, Inez, and Estelle to their room, does not give them any information about their location, or itinerary for Hell, and leaves them to their own devices. At first the characters claim “So this is hell. I'd never have believed it.” However , the valet’s indifference causes chaos amongst them, they go mad by simply interacting with each other and proclaim “Hell is—other people!” Garcin is the quintessential example of fear and trembling due to his desertion from the army. Garcin claimed “I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds,” because he spent his whole life trying to make his mark on the world and died without leaving a mark on history. However, when he was called to arms and thus was given the chance to make a difference, he deserted the army because he was afraid and was therefore shot. Finally, Estelle represents freedom when she stabs Inez because she wants to be free from her ideas because Inez points out the truth and it is unbearable for Estelle and Garcin.
The Stranger, by Alber Camus also displays alienation and estrangement, fear and trembling, and freedom through Meursault, the main character, in the way he acts in the situations he is faced with in the novel. Meursault is extremely numb from all his natural connection, thus making him alienated in life. For example, when Marie wants to marry him, he does not care, he treats his feelings with indifferece. His lack ofo value in human life and emotion is clear when he states , “ she