The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Study Guide Part 1, Chapters 1-5 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 78 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being follows the stories of four main characters: Tomas, Tereza, Sabina and Franz. Through the characters' interaction and reflections on their own lives, they come to significant conclusions and revelations about life and themselves.

Milan Kundera begins The Unbearable Lightness of Being by discussing Nietzsche's idea of eternal return. This idea states, "Everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum!" Conversely, a life that disappears, not to return, is meaningless and without weight. Kundera uses a war between two African kingdoms and the French Revolution to illuminate his point that because we do not live by the idea of eternal return. These horrific events lose the immediate emotional impact and power, because they become "mere words, stories, and discussions." Kundera contends that because the world abides by the...

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This section contains 749 words
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.