• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

WLA Analysis of a Key Passage from Milan Kundera(TM)s The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Extracts from this document...


World Literature Assignment Assignment 2c: Detailed Study Analysis of a Key Passage from Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being Key Passage: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera Part Seven: Karenin's Smile Chapter 7, p. 306 - 307 "She had stepped behind a tree trunk so that none of the men by the pick-up could see her. Standing there observing him, she suffered a bout of self-recrimination: It was her fault that he had come back to Prague from Zurich, her fault that he had left Prague, and even here she could not leave him in peace, torturing him with her secret suspicions while Karenin lay dying. She had always secretly reproached him for not loving her enough. Her own love she considered above reproach, while his seemed mere condescension. Now she saw that she had been unfair: If she had really loved Tomas with a great love, she would have stuck it out with him abroad! Tomas had been happy there; a new life was opening for him! And she had left him! True, at the time she had convinced herself she was being magnanimous, giving him his freedom. But hadn't her magnanimity been merely an excuse? She knew all along that he would come home to her! ...read more.


What follows this quote is an outburst of guilt, condemnation and self-destructiveness from Tereza, which is not utterly surprising, because we have come to know Tereza's character and seen that she is a very "heavy" person, a person who takes every detail and ponders whether it has some implications on just about anything concerned with her, but yet it still stands out. Tereza is a "heavy" character, yes, but during the course of the novel she comes to a place where she is yearning for "lightness", she wishes she could be more carefree, not worry herself sick about all those little details, which wear her down. She cannot bear what the "heaviness" is doing to her, or more specifically, what the "heaviness" in her is making her do to herself. It was quite clear from the beginning that Tereza was dependant on Tomas - her life was spinning around him. However, even though she was undeniably sure of her love for him, she still had her doubts. His infidelity drove her mad with jealousy. She saw the flaws in him - she was not blinded by her love for him completely and she did not let herself become a fool by pretending to be oblivious to his affairs. ...read more.


The significance of this passage lies with two features of it: a certain consistency in the novel due to the fact that her character traits confirm her identity as what Kundera calls a "heavy" person - the weight is slowly pressing her down; but on the other hand a particular inconsistency in Tereza's character comes to the surface. Under all those vices and character faults that she talks about those that she brings up to make her feel fragile, those also lead her to see that in fact she learned how to use her weaknesses as strengths to get what she wanted. She still is this pathetic character, but she finds power in it. "We all have a tendency to consider strength a culprit and weakness the innocent victim. But now Tereza realize that in her case the opposite was true! Even her dreams, as if aware of the single weakness in a man otherwise strong, made a display of her suffering to him, thereby forcing him to retreat." At the brink of her life Tereza sees that she indeed accomplished something, even though it was not her intention deliberately. Word Count: 1 009 1 Kundera, M. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1984, ISBN 0-571-20083-4 ?? ?? ?? ?? 000771 - 047 - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Commentary on a passage taken from "The Blindfolded Horse"

    Furthermore, despite the "mustardy yellow flour" pouring from under the horse, the horse ironically only sees the blackness of the cloth. Thus, the horse does not even catch a glimpse of this actual happiness, but instead remains blind to it.

  2. Lord of the Flies Critical Analysis

    Therefore, it is a very shocking change when all the little children gang up and tear Simon apart like he were some savage beast. The reader is immediately reminded of the nature of the children, and of the blind savagery that the children show in their actions.

  1. Commentary on a passage taken from Laurence Fearnleys "Edwin and Mathilda"

    This visual image is quite effective, in the sense that it indicates the extent to which Edwin experiences complete and total shock, as well as underlines the theme of emotional destruction in the sense that Edwin's discovery of the truth about his mother is really tearing him apart.

  2. Unbearable Lightness of Being

    In Tomas's example however the amplitude has a much smaller range. He seems to be a sensible, firm man and yet, at some stage, he goes through a metamorphosis. He rejects the proposition of declining an antisocialist article written by him and as a result loses his job as a surgeon.

  1. Gusev Analysis. Chekov brings up two ordinary characters that are suffering under the ...

    He describes an occasion when he beat up some Chinese men merely for coming into his yard. He does not know why he hit them. The same impulse occurs when he looks through the porthole of the ship and sees a fat Chinese man in a boat.

  2. Comparative Essay. A study into how Isabelle Allende and Milan Kundera portray love in ...

    This phrase is a philosophical phrase it questions "if we only have one life, we shouldn't live at all". On the total opposite we find Tereza who is a weight character , every responsibility and decision is seen as a burden.

  1. The symbolism of death in Milan Kundera's, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    Fear is an oppressive emotion; it restricts a person by forming boundaries around the things that they are afraid of, essentially suppressing their freedom. Much like living with the philosophical idea of weight, which represents imprisonment and constraint. Kundera is able to show his readers how the view?s of death

  2. Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapters 7,8,9 and 10

    is doomed to be defeated by the forces of bloodlust and primal chaos. * Ralph's defeat comes in the form of the hunt, which is associated with the savage instinct throughout Lord of the Flies. o Although, hunting is necessary to the survival of the group, it is also what drives them into deadly barbarism.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work