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Contents

No Exit

Jean-Paul Sartre

Characters

Summary

Section 1

Garcin -  He is a journalist from Rio and the first to arrive in the room. He was shot by a firing squad for attempting to desert during a war. He is also the best of the three prisoners at dealing with damnation. He recognizes that the three of them have been grouped together to make each other miserable and thinks that each of them should remain silent in their respective corners. He continually tries to make peace with himself and the people he hurt during his lifetime. He does not question his damnation, easily recalling how awful he had been to his wife. When given a chance to leave, he chooses to stay, hoping to convince Inez that he is not a coward.
Inez -  A self-described "damned bitch," she is the second prisoner and also the most hostile. She had been a postal clerk and thinks that she is in hell for seducing a friend's wife. Her lover killed them both by leaving the gas on while Inez was asleep. She says that she does not like men and instantly detests everything about Garcin. However, she finds Estelle very attractive and tries to seduce her. She offers to be Estelle's "mirror," by describing her physical appearance, but ends up frightening her instead. After laughing off Estelle's attempt to kill her with a paper-knife, she agrees to let Garcin try and convince her that he is not a coward.
Estelle -  The third and final prisoner, she is also the most frightened. She desperately wants to see her reflection in a mirror and swears that she does not belong in hell, having just died of pneumonia. Inez tries to seduce her, but she says that she needs to be with a man. She eventually confesses to not only having an affair, but also drowning the baby of her lover. Garcin is momentarily drawn to her but chooses instead to focus all his energy on Inez. She tries to kill Inez, forgetting that they are all already dead.
Valet -  A taciturn representative of the devil. He shows each prisoner to their room, answers their questions, and promptly leaves. There is a call bell in the room but he doesn't always answer it.

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