No Exit Essay

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In this essay, Petrusso discusses the theme of cowardice and how it affects the plot of Sartre's play.

The three characters that are condemned to the hell in No Exit all have one thing in common: each of them displays cowardice. Cowardice means they lack courage. Joseph Garcin, the pacifist newspaper reporter, and Estelle, the young socialite, both lacked courage in their lives, and in hell, they cannot face the truth about themselves. Inez is at once a more complex yet more simple character. She believes she is a sadist, and her actions more than prove that. But a sadist needs others to torture, and Inez cowers from aloneness. No matter what their differences, all three of them share one act of cowardice at a key moment in the play. The door to the drawing room opens, offering an unknown opportunity, but none of them is brave enough...

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This section contains 1,512 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the No Exit Study Guide
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Drama for Students
No Exit from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.