From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Janne Teller

Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of Nothing, it's been eight years since Pierre Anthon's death in the sawmill fire. Class 7A has scattered to other, larger schools, as Danish kids do in 8th grade. Sofie was sent to a mental institution, and as far as we know, she's still there.

Agnes tells us that she sometimes takes out the matchbox full of ashes from the sawmill fire and thinks about meaning. She tells us how she and her classmates cried at Pierre Anthon's funeral, because they had both lost something and gained something. What they lost is apparent; it's all in the heap of meaning. But what they gained is harder to say. In fact, she never does say, exactly. But she's sure now that there is meaning in the world, and that meaning isn't something to fool around with.

Then, like the 7th grader she was back then, she says, "Is it, Pierre Anthon? Is it?" It's like there's a part of her that never grew up—a part still stuck in the "I know you are, but what am I?" mentality of a 12-year-old kid. Which leads us to wonder how much of an adult she actually is, even eight years later, and how much of her being an adult is, as Pierre Anthon predicted, just pretending.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...