French philosopher and playwright Jean Paul Sartre’s 1944 play, “No Exit,” envisioned a hell devoid of searing flames, torture devices or red-eyed devils pitchforking inhabitants for eternity. But that doesn’t mean the punishment for unredeemed sinners wasn’t awful beyond imagining.
Sartre instead placed multiple people in a locked room—in this case, two women and one man—carefully selected to provoke maximum and mutual psychological discomfort upon one another by picking astutely at the scabs of the moral failings that landed each of them in this dreaded situation, yes, for all eternity.
“Anything but that!”, we can hear ourselves saying in sympathy with these otherwise despicable characters. (Military desertion, vicious marital infidelity, seduction, sadism, infanticide…)
The prospect of spending eternity locked in a room with others capable and committed to driving you crazy without relief led to t...Read More