Friday, March 15, 2019




This is the most misunderstood or used out of context quote spoken by Joseph Garcin (a character ) in Jean Paul Sartre's one act play NO EXIT ( Huis Clos. ). Sartre wrote this play in 1943 and it was staged for the first time in 1944.

Let me try to  Simplify this quote as under:

Through his books and  essays , Sartre laid great emphasis on predominance of individual liberty  . Essentially ,  Sartre is a strong supporter of a genuine return to the self. A return that is free from the gaze of ‘ OTHERS’. Sartre believes that If others are always around to look and watch , an individual lands into something known as BAD FAITH. So , according to him , other 's scrutiny or gaze or look is the primary cause for someone falling into bad faith. Hence, the “Hell” - or the place where the vice is  thrust upon  or  practiced against the will of the people.

Sartre believed that in this world ,  Man is  never in full control of himself as long as someone else is present. He can never escape being influenced by what he thinks of ‘ others’ thinking of him.  This thinking makes him to act in a way that is neither  natural nor the way  would have acted  if he were not  under the gaze and scrutiny of 'OTHERS'.    And then  a Man   lives in   a  social set up ,  where ,  at every step ,   he can’t  escape  confronting     ‘ OTHERS ‘ .  

And by bad faith, Sartre means ' refusal to confront facts or choices.' To a greater extent , it also means 'SELF DECEPTION.'

Any other clarification is welcome.

(Avtar Mota)

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