What would you do if you were held prisoner and condemned to death? Jean-Paul Sartre paints an intriguing picture of what that may be like by sharing a story of Pablo Ibbieta, the protagonist during the Spanish Civil War. As the main character of the short story The Wall, Pablo finds himself captive and scheduled for an execution, but is offered a pardon from his impeding execution if revealing the location of his comrade, Ramon Gris. Initially, he refuses to cooperate, but eventually decides to deceptively comply and gives the authorities what he believes to be false information on Ramon Gris’ whereabouts.
Ironically, it turns out that Ramon Gris has moved from his previous hiding place to the current location disclosed by Pablo. Thus Ramon Gris is shot and Pablo’s life spared. Jean-Paul Sartre is attempting to reveal to us through The Wall, the apparent themes of imprisonment and fear. The concealed messages of any readings will vary depending on the audience’s personal life experience. In this story, Pablo created the very reality he was working hard to prevent. For the last several years, I have been learning about the New Age principle called The Law of Attraction.
I was able to recognize this principle with in The Wall. It’s been my experience that the Law of Attraction is one of the better known universal laws. The theory behind the Law of Attraction is that we create our own realities and our thoughts influence change. This theory argues that we attract things we want and we also attract things we don’t want through our thoughts and feelings. This specifically true in the story of Pablo. According to the Law of Attraction, to think is to create, wether intentional or otherwise.
Pablo fabricates a story about the whereabouts of Ramon Gris in order to deceive the authorities, but Pablo’s fear of immanent execution of himself and his comrade consumed his conscious and subconscious thoughts. Sartre demonstrate his preoccupation with fear by describing Pablo’s emotions in vivid detail. Upholding the principle of the Law of Attraction, it is safe to conclude that Pablo created the very reality he was working hard to prevent by focusing his thoughts on preventing the death and fabricating false locations. Ramon Gris ironically ends up in the false ocation and ends up dead, just as the Law of Attraction would predict. My previous exposure to the New Age principle called The Law of Attraction, I enabled me to recognize this principle with in Sartre short story, The Wall. Although, the apparent theme of the story is about imprisonment and fear, Sartre wants the reader to recognize a much more valuable. It is safe to conclude that Pablo created the very reality he was working hard to prevent. By fabricating the story of Ramon Gris whereabouts and thinking about the fear of death, Pablo brought this reality to fruition.