Women In Jean Paul-Sartre's No Exit

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In America in the 1940’s society viewed men as the superior gender, despite women slowly gaining more rights. They possessed superiority in job wages, political positions, marriages, and education. Women faced continuous discrimination and inferiority. In Jean Paul-Sartre’s No Exit which takes place in the during this time, different power dynamics are implemented throughout the play. Garcin, a male protagonist, experiences this patriarchal superiority on earth. However, in hell the Estelle and Inez shift the power dynamics, disrupting the typical power balance Garcin experienced on earth. This changes how he acts. Instead of possessing superiority and abusing women, he transitions into a “peacekeeper” in hell. However, his real insecurities eventually come to the surface. Thus, while Garcin seemingly redeems himself in hell of his emotionally abusive behavior on earth, he ends up revealing his true, insecure nature.
In hell, Garcin initially functions as a peacekeeper amongst
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He mistreats his wife and was aware of it. He takes advantage of his superiority. Garcin openly admits that he believes that "[He 's] here because [he] treated [his] wife abominably... for five years" (Sartre 24). He expands on this further, claiming that "night after night [he] came home blind drunk, stinking of wine and women" (Sartre 25). Instead of lightening tension in this relationship, like in hell, he creates it. He is aware that he mistreats her and creates this tension, but, nevertheless continues it. Furthermore, he describes this treatment as "so easy. A word was enough to make her flinch... I 'm fond of teasing" (Sartre 25). Not only was Garcin aware of his treatment but he was fond of it. He enjoyed it. He joyfully instigated the conflict in this relationship instead of serving as a peacekeeper. Thus, his relationship with his wife establishes a disconnect between his time on earth and in
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