The Wall Essay

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It has now and then been noted that in the work of Jean-Paul Sartre "The Wall" holds a singularly privileged position. First published in 1939, this short story compresses into one vividly rendered situation nearly all the major themes with which Sartre the existentialist philosopher and "engaged" writer has later been concerned. It is thus a veritable epiphany of Sartrean man's predicament in an absurd universe; and as Walter Kaufmann points out in his Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, it is the best introduction to the "heart of Sartre's thought" not only because of its classic treatment of the "central existentialist motif of confrontation with death," but because it contains other important themes to be found in such later works as Les mains sales (Dirty Hands) and Les morts sans sepulture (The Victors). In these plays, Kaufmann continues, "man's highest value is integrity, and Sartre goes out of his...

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This section contains 1,931 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Wall Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Wall from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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