How does Jean-Paul Sartre's "The Wall" relate to individual freedom?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Jean-Paul Sartre's "The Wall" tells the story of Pablo Ibbieta. He has been captured and is being questioned about the whereabouts of Ramon Gris. Pablo refuses to tell his captors where he is. Later, Pablo is questioned again, and he tells them that Ramon is in a cemetery (which he believes to be a lie). He only lies in order to be let go. The men come back from the cemetery and tell Pablo that he will be tried by a normal court (not a military one). News gets back to Pablo that Ramon was captured in the cemetery he sent his captors to. Pablo goes hysterical.

The story speaks to individual freedom in two very different ways. First, it speaks to the loss of individual freedom. Pablo and the other men are captured, and their freedoms are taken away. Second, Pablo has the choice to protect his own freedom (by telling his captors where Ramon is). Although he thinks he lies, Pablo's intent is to lie in order to protect his own life and freedom.

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