The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. This is an essay about the lightness and weight of the character Tomas.

Essay by yimmer16University, Bachelor'sA, December 2003

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

In Milan Kundera's novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, there are many different themes that reoccur throughout the novel. Some of these themes include the ideals between the soul and body, individual and world, fortuity and fate, but perhaps the most important theme of the book is the idea of lightness versus weight. The book is titled The Unbearable Lightness of Being for a reason. In this book there are two sections or parts, which focus on "lightness and weight." The focus of this paper will be on the lightness and weight of the character Tomas.

Throughout the novel lightness and weight are contrasted. In order to have a good understanding about this book the ideas of lightness and weight must be clear. In this novel lightness represents freedom while weight represents a burden or lack of freedom. In the first section or part of the book, Kundera chose the title "Lightness and Weight," which he ponders about the philosophical question.

How does lightness and weight apply to Tomas' everyday lives? Kundera portrays Tomas as a selfish man but at the same time manages to make him sympathetic. In part one Tereza sleeps with Tomas and then gets sick for a week and stays with him at his flat. After a while, she came back to live with him even though he never had slept overnight with a woman in his house. With her he felt comfortable. "Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman)," (lightness and weight,