Sartre and Federal Politics
He wrote the play in 1944 (I reviewed a London production last month – see below) and somehow Sartre captured a perfectly enclosed world offering NO WAY OUT, three antagonistic characters who have been shown by a valet into a drab room with tattered Second Empire furniture. It dawns on the audience that the players in this short drama are in hell, enclosed in this room for eternity. The bell chord will not summon anyone, the door remains locked – until it blows open and they are too intimidated to run for it. And the more they find out about one another’s sins and characters the more they are locked in conflict, left to probe one another further, and glare and snarl.
BUT THERE IS NO WAY OUT!
“L’enfer, c’est les autres,” said Sartre. Hell is other people.
So it must seem, with no exit. In this trap despair is natural.