In other words, the characters are in hell because they are trivial, pretentious people. This is Sartre’s satiric point: they are in hell because they are petty-bourgeois. Their concern for the world goes only as far as the extent to which the world services their needs. When it doesn’t adequately cater to their desires, they blame the world and the people in it – that is, they say that “hell is other people.” Au contraire, the people in No Exit are in hell because they themselves made the decisions that put them there.
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In blaming “other people” the characters in the play, Sartre says, are pointing fingers in the wrong direction. Why should the world be responsible for the actions of any of us? Who should I blame for what I am except myself? Ultimately No Exit doesn’t say that hell is other people; it says, with Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost, that “Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell.” We construct a hell for ourselves, Sartre says, when we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions, leaving us at the mercy of the opinions of others.
“Hell is other people” is the expression of damned souls who will remain in the hell they created until – the play does offer the occasional very dim ray of light – until they learn to own up to their own behaviors, and until they begin to choose to help each other – to put someone else’s good ahead of their own. In the sense I am describing here, “Hell is other people” is exactly what Sartre does not say. A character says it, because he steadfastly refuses to see that he and he alone is responsible for his own behavior. The characters have built hell with their own hands; they are the ones who will have to take it apart again.
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." ― George Bernard Shaw
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre
"The possession of great power necessarily implies great responsibility." ― William Lamb
“Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre
“We are our choices.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre
"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from." ― Al Franken
"Only while sleeping one makes no mistakes. Making mistakes is the privilege of the active—of those who can correct their mistakes and put them right." ― Ingvar Kamprad
“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible.” ― Cherie-Carter Scotts