Sartre's "No Exit" and "The Flies" Book Review by CT

Sartre's "No Exit" and "The Flies"
An analysis of the dominance of perceived power structures as seen in Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit" and "The Flies".
# 113816 | 3,858 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on May 13, 2009 in Drama and Theater (World) , Literature (French) , English (Analysis) , Philosophy (General)

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This paper looks at how Jean-Paul Sartre, in his works "No Exit" and "The Flies", uses the two basic existential themes of nothingness and human as a conscious being to illustrate what happens when individuals submit to power structures. The paper specifically looks at how both works demonstrate that the judgments and evaluations of others play an integral role in our daily lives. Both plays emphasize that we must have control over our lives and uphold our own evaluations of ourselves rather than empowering others to control our lives through their opinions of us.

From the Paper:

"How does one lose consciousness according to Existentialism? The first basic theme of Existentialism declares that a human is a conscious being rather than an object to be predicted or manipulated. Accordingly, humans do not have a fixed nature that limits or determines their actions; it is their actions that bring about whatever nature they have created (Blackham 112-114). Existential philosophy affirms that consciousness is imperative, given it allows a person to freely choose and discriminate between true and false beliefs. However, the individual becomes powerless when there is an absence of consciousness. A lack of awareness emerges when a being allows power structures such as army, school, job, and religion to dictate various aspects of their life. Sartre lucidly portrays this idea in both No Exit and The Flies since the plays' characters failed to realize that they are in control of their own existences."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Blackham H.J. "Jean-Paul Sartre (Born 1905)." Six Existentialist Thinkers: Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Nietzsche, Marcel, Sartre, Heidegger. New York: (Harper Torchbooks, The Academy Library, TB 1002), 1952. 110-148.
  • Brown, Stuart M. "The Atheistic Existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre." The Philosophical Review Vol. 57. No. 2 (1948): 158-166.
  • Doubrovsky, Serge. "Sartre and Camus: A Study in Incarceration." Yale French Studies, Albert Camus No. 25 (1960): 85-92.
  • Flynn, Thomas R. Sartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test Case of Collective Responsibility. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1986.
  • Grelland, Hans Herlof. "The Case for Sartrean Freedom." Sartre Studies International 12.1 (June 2006): 18-32.

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