In The Wall by Jean-Paul Sartre, why does Pablo refuse to turn in Ramon Gris?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pablo is the narrator of The Wall by Jean-Paul Sartre. He is a political activist who has been captured by Falangist forces, along with two other radicals and all three have been sentenced to death by firing squad. Pablo has become detached from his emotions as he observes others and even himself. The experience is disconcerting but Pablo has lost all sense of fear and feels that, death or life, all amount to the same for him. He has nothing to live or die for so, even the promise of a reprieve from execution does not excite him. 

The authorities have promised Pablo that he will not be executed if he divulges the whereabouts of fellow anarchist,Raymond Gris. Having previously denied knowledge of him, Pablo decides to tell a convoluted story of Raymond's location so that he can at least have the pleasure of making fools of his captors. He is not willing to provide accurate information relating to Raymond due to his own current state of mind where nothing is important. His sense of reality is affected as he contemplates that "several hours or several years of waiting is all the same..." His cause is unimportant and Raymond's life is not Pablo's concern so his reluctance to tell the authorities is not linked to any desire to save Raymond from execution.

Nothing satisfies Pablo. He realizes that he could have got pleasure from so many things but there is no more time for that because "death had disenchanted everything.”