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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Michael Henry Heim's translation.

Quote #7

She knew, of course, that she was being supremely unfair, that Franz was the best man she had ever had – he was intelligent, he understood her paintings, he was handsome and good – but the more she thought about it, the more she longed to ravish his intelligence, defile his kindheartedness, and violate his powerless strength. (3.8.10)

Moments ago, Sabina wished that Franz would subjugate her and take control himself. But because he is not capable of doing so, Sabina steps up and takes control herself. If she cannot be subjugated, then she will be subjugate Franz.

Quote #8

Tereza suddenly recalled the first days of the invasion. People in every city and town had pulled down the street signs; sign posts had disappeared. Overnight, the country had become nameless. For seven days, Russian troops wandered the countryside, not knowing where they were. The officers searched for newspaper offices, for television and radio stations to occupy, but could not find them. Whenever they asked, they would get either a shrug of the shoulders or false names and directions.

Hindsight now made that anonymity seem quite dangerous to the country. […] The past that Tereza had gone there to find had turned out to be confiscated. (4.25.5-6)

Remember that Tereza attempted to fight the Russians by photographing the invasion, and ended up helping them accidentally by documenting those who rebelled. The same thing has happened here; the Czechs ended up hurting themselves in their attempts to fight back.

Quote #9

If excitement is a mechanism our Creator uses for His own amusement, love is something that belongs to us alone and enables us to flee the Creator. Love is our freedom. Love lies beyond "Es muss sein!" (5.22.6)

But sex does not lie beyond es muss sein. Remember that Tomas's womanizing has been called his personal es muss sein. Although Tomas's sexuality is characterized by the power he exerts over woman, he is powerless against his own womanizing.

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