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According to Sartre himself, they could have refused. In the many time misquoted "L'enfer, c'est les autres" ("Hell is other people"), Sartre made it clear that he did not imply people would always torture each other, but rather, that flawed relationship would always push people to hell, as there was nothing more important to us that the view of others.

Hence, the reason why the characters end up torturing each other would be that their relationships are flowedflawed, at least according to the Comments on Huis Clos, 1964 that I reproduce here (translation is mine, if you find a more satisfactory one I would be please to edit it in).

“ Hell is others ” has always been misunderstood. It was thought that I wanted to infer that our relationships with others was always flawed, that they were infernal relationships. But, it was something totally different I want to say. I want to say that if our relationships with someone else are twisted, vicious, then the other is but hell. Why? Because others are, in the end, what matters most for ourselves, for our own understanding of who we are. When we reflect on ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, ultimately we use the knowledge others have gathered on us, we use the means others have used, have given us the possibility to use upon ourselves. Whatever I might say of myself, the judgement of the other is present in my speech. This implies that, if my relationships are flawed, I am putting myself at the hand of others and in this case, I am in hell. And there are a great many number of people in the world that are in hell because they depend too much on the judgement of others. But this doesn't mean at all that we cannot have relationships with others, it only marks the fundamental importance of each other on each of us.

— Sartre, Commentaire sur le CD Huis Clos, 1964

According to Sartre himself, they could have refused. In the many time misquoted "L'enfer, c'est les autres" ("Hell is other people"), Sartre made it clear that he did not imply people would always torture each other, but rather, that flawed relationship would always push people to hell, as there was nothing more important to us that the view of others.

Hence, the reason why the characters end up torturing each other would be that their relationships are flowed, at least according to the Comments on Huis Clos, 1964 that I reproduce here (translation is mine, if you find a more satisfactory one I would be please to edit it in).

“ Hell is others ” has always been misunderstood. It was thought that I wanted to infer that our relationships with others was always flawed, that they were infernal relationships. But, it was something totally different I want to say. I want to say that if our relationships with someone else are twisted, vicious, then the other is but hell. Why? Because others are, in the end, what matters most for ourselves, for our own understanding of who we are. When we reflect on ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, ultimately we use the knowledge others have gathered on us, we use the means others have used, have given us the possibility to use upon ourselves. Whatever I might say of myself, the judgement of the other is present in my speech. This implies that, if my relationships are flawed, I am putting myself at the hand of others and in this case, I am in hell. And there are a great many number of people in the world that are in hell because they depend too much on the judgement of others. But this doesn't mean at all that we cannot have relationships with others, it only marks the fundamental importance of each other on each of us.

— Sartre, Commentaire sur le CD Huis Clos, 1964

According to Sartre himself, they could have refused. In the many time misquoted "L'enfer, c'est les autres" ("Hell is other people"), Sartre made it clear that he did not imply people would always torture each other, but rather, that flawed relationship would always push people to hell, as there was nothing more important to us that the view of others.

Hence, the reason why the characters end up torturing each other would be that their relationships are flawed, at least according to the Comments on Huis Clos, 1964 that I reproduce here (translation is mine, if you find a more satisfactory one I would be please to edit it in).

“ Hell is others ” has always been misunderstood. It was thought that I wanted to infer that our relationships with others was always flawed, that they were infernal relationships. But, it was something totally different I want to say. I want to say that if our relationships with someone else are twisted, vicious, then the other is but hell. Why? Because others are, in the end, what matters most for ourselves, for our own understanding of who we are. When we reflect on ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, ultimately we use the knowledge others have gathered on us, we use the means others have used, have given us the possibility to use upon ourselves. Whatever I might say of myself, the judgement of the other is present in my speech. This implies that, if my relationships are flawed, I am putting myself at the hand of others and in this case, I am in hell. And there are a great many number of people in the world that are in hell because they depend too much on the judgement of others. But this doesn't mean at all that we cannot have relationships with others, it only marks the fundamental importance of each other on each of us.

— Sartre, Commentaire sur le CD Huis Clos, 1964

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According to Sartre himself, they could have refused. In the many time misquoted "L'enfer, c'est les autres" ("Hell is other people"), Sartre made it clear that he did not imply people would always torture each other, but rather, that flawed relationship would always push people to hell, as there was nothing more important to us that the view of others.

Hence, the reason why the characters end up torturing each other would be that their relationships are flowed, at least according to the Comments on Huis Clos, 1964 that I reproduce here (translation is mine, if you find a more satisfactory one I would be please to edit it in).

“ Hell is others ” has always been misunderstood. It was thought that I wanted to infer that our relationships with others was always flawed, that they were infernal relationships. But, it was something totally different I want to say. I want to say that if our relationships with someone else are twisted, vicious, then the other is but hell. Why? Because others are, in the end, what matters most for ourselves, for our own understanding of who we are. When we reflect on ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, ultimately we use the knowledge others have gathered on us, we use the means others have used, have given us the possibility to use upon ourselves. Whatever I might say of myself, the judgement of the other is present in my speech. This implies that, if my relationships are flawed, I am putting myself at the hand of others and in this case, I am in hell. And there are a great many number of people in the world that are in hell because they depend too much on the judgement of others. But this doesn't mean at all that we cannot have relationships with others, it only marks the fundamental importance of each other on each of us.

— Sartre, Commentaire sur le CD Huis Clos, 1964