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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Analysis

Literary Devices in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

See "What's Up with the Title?" for a full discussion of weight, unbearable lightness, Nietzsche, eternal return, Parmenides, "Einmal ist keinmal." You can also check out "Characters" for details o...

Setting

The Unbearable Lightness of Being takes place in a particular social and political atmosphere. Before you read this discussion, you should make sure to check out "In a Nutshell," where we give a br...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator in The Unbearable Lightness of Being is probably one of the most unique narrative voices in 20th century literature. The narrator refers to himself in the third person, initially sugge...

Genre

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a genre-defying text if we ever saw one. On the one hand, it's like a philosophical treatise with extended examples to support its ideas. Much of the text break...

Tone

The authorial voice of The Unbearable Lightness of Being – whether you consider it to be a fictional narrative character or the author himself speaking – doesn't shy away from analysis,...

Writing Style

Kundera's technique is unusual in that he's willing to mix so many different kinds of writing in one work. As we discuss in "Genre," Unbearable Lightness is a cross between fiction and philosophy,...

What's Up With the Title?

The phrase "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" is Kundera's own, but to understand it we actually have too start with Friedrich Nietzsche and the idea of "eternal return." Eternal return is the ide...

What's Up With the Ending?

The novel gets a bit confusing right around the start of the final section, Part 7. Why? Because Part 6 felt like the ending. We wrapped up some major thematic issues, we followed all our character...

Plot Analysis

There are so many reasons why The Unbearable Lightness of Being doesn't follow a typical plotline. To begin with, the novel features several different, interwoven, plotlines revolving around severa...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

There are so many reasons why The Unbearable Lightness of Being doesn't follow a typical plotline. To begin with, the novel features several different, interwoven, plotlines revolving around severa...

Three Act Plot Analysis

There are so many reasons why The Unbearable Lightness of Being doesn't follow a typical plotline. To begin with, the novel features several different, interwoven, plotlines revolving around severa...

Trivia

In 2008, the Czech weekly Respekt published a story regarding an investigation into Kundera as an informant for the Communist Party in 1950. Kundera was outraged and vehemently denied the accusatio...

Steaminess Rating

There's all sorts of sex in Unbearable Lightness – angry sex, kinky sex, emotional sex, emotionless sex, loving sex, memorable sex, sex that's quickly forgotten, sex driven by betrayal, sex i...

Allusions

Friedrich Nietzsche (1.1.1, 1.2.1, 7.2.13-15)Parmenides (1.2.7-9, 1.14.7, 1.16.1, 5.8.4-5, 6.24.4)Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1.4.2, 1.11.5, 2.11.3, 2.12.4, 1.27.8, 4.25.4, 5.13.22), "Karenin" (Ter...
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