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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


by Milan Kundera


Character Role Analysis

Just about every character with just about every other character

Take a running start for this one. Sabina and Franz are contrasted for about 60 pages explicitly through the "Dictionary of Misunderstood Words" and differ in just about every possible way. To name a few highlights, we see that Sabina believes kitsch is her enemy, while Franz is fascinated by the drama of the Grand March of history; Sabina thinks love is about strength while Franz thinks love is about renouncing strength; and Sabina believes one lives in truth privately, while Franz thinks living in truth happens publicly. Tereza and Sabina have opposite relationships with Tomas. Tereza wants a monogamous, loving relationship and Sabina is fine with a polygamous, sexual one. Tereza and Tomas are foils when it comes to sex: Tomas believes sex and love are two different things while Tereza believes they cannot be separated.