No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre

986 WordsOct 30, 20084 Pages
By Dilara Eynullayeva Words: 874 No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre Analyze the play’s title. Be sure to consider the original French: Huis Clos. Since its first publication in 1944 in French, the play Huis Clos by Jean-Paul Sartre has been translated into numerous languages around the world. The English translations have seen many different titles, including In Camera, No Way Out, and Dead End. The most common and accepted of all the title translation, however, is No Exit. The translation is derived from the literal meanings of the title words in French: “huis” means “door” and “clos” means “closed”. Thus, taken one step further, since the term “closed door” is associated with a sealed-off entrance, the translation became No Exit.…show more content…
“Confidential trial” also makes more sense in the context of the story than its English counterpart, for underneath it all, it is a story of three people who judge, critisize, and analyze each others’ raw personalites without the scrutiny or the influence of any outside factors, rather than three characters who are forced to stay together without a way out. In conclusion, while No Exit is the most widely accepted and well-known title translation of Huis Clos, it is not the most accurate. Firstly, one would not use "huis clos" to mean a literal closed door, since it is an idiomatic expression that is almost exclusively a term used to describe classified judicial procedures, with its closest translation being “classified and confidential trial”. Secondly, even if Sartre had not used the term “huis clos” idiomatically, the literal translation to “closed door” and “no exit” is still innaccurate, for one would not use the antiquated and official term “huis” to mean “door“ in the modern context of the play. Arriving at the conclusion that the English translation of the title is inaccurate and analyzing the title Huis Clos in its original French, one can distinguish that the French title is more effective when relating the title back to the story - for while No Exit focuses the reader more on the fact
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