Student Question

In Sartre's No Exit, what does "Well well, let's get on with it" mean?

Expert Answers

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The ending to the play reflects different elements.  One potential way to read the ending of "let's get on with it" would be the commencement of enduring the consequences for their actions.  Each of them has wound up in hell due to the choices and use of freedom that enveloped them while they were living.  The ending is an acceptance that there can be no more exercises of "bad faith," or false belief in the redemptive nature of totality.  For Sartre, human existence is one in which the individual conception of freedom is what defines essence.  Accordingly, the characters in the drama must begin the process of accepting their own responsibility for what they did and how those actions drove the characters to their own setting of condemnation.  The torture that must be endured for what was done can no longer be evaded and it cannot be denied.  The laughter that each character voices before the ending is almost a response to their own predicaments individually and what they all share collectively.  In this, there is a need to "get on with it," as a statement that repudiates bad faith and embraces a need to accept the agony that is part of what Sartre sees in the human condition.

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