This play is about why Hugo kills Hoederer. Sartre is not giving us a surprise in that Hugo kills Hoederer. We find that out at the beginning but it is his motivation for this killing that is the most interesting. That is why the story is told from the point of view of hugo, retelling his own life to Olga until the very end. The question is whether his motivations were political or personal. Hugo first of all is sent by Louis to kill Hoederer to stop him making an political alliance with Karsky and Hutch. This is the very first reason why Hugo sets out to kill Hoederer. However, as soon as he gets there with his wife Jessica, he is very out of his depth. He has little experience and the fact that Hoederer is such an imposing but respected figure makes the job only harder for Hugo. Hugo respects Hoederer and he says that: "je sens que le vrai gout du cafe est dans sa bouche a lui". This shows that he is admiring Hoederer and he turns even his coffee into something that is quite important. - TBE

TO ADD TO THE ESSAY: Hugo comes from a wealthy background, most members of the party dismiss him as an intellectual who does not even know what poverty is really like. He is anxious to prove his worth to members of his party, especially Louis and Olga, and killing Hoederer will be a way to achieve this. - THP


Hugo kills Hoederer because at that very moment due to the fact that he is in a blind rage. this is down to two main reasons:
  1. He is a drunk and his low alcohol tolerance means he isn’t thinking straight and hence can do things (ie kill Hoederer) that normally he would be too afraid to do, or would think were wrong. This leads him to regret his decision in later life as he realises that Hoederers ideals and political aspirations were the right ones.
  2. He walks in on them kissing and misinterprets this to an extent. Hoederer is being led on by Jessica and she is the main reason for their relationship as she is, for want of a better phrase, all over him. Hoederer does try and warn Jessica, saying that she should think about what shes about to do, but in vain. Hugo is previously completely unaware of Jessicas intentions and now is of the opinion that Hoederer is trying to steal his supposedly faithful wife. This leads Hugo into a blind rage and contributes to him not being in his correct state of mind when he kills Hoederer.
Thorughout the play, the moral dilemma in which Hugo places himself is the main reason why he wastes time and puts off killing Hoederer. On the one hand Hugo has been told by the Party to kill Hoederer and, since he wishes to gain power and respect, sees this great oppurtunity to climb the ranks and ascend into real politics; but on the other hand, Hugo cannot decide if Hoederer or Louis ideas are better and does not truly see why Hoederer has to die, even if it is for the sake of the Party.