Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 2, Chapter 1

By Milan Kundera

Part 2, Chapter 1

  • "It would be senseless of the author to try to convince the reader that his characters once actually lived," begins the narrator.
  • Characters are born of "a stimulating phrase or two from a basic situation" (2.1.1). Tomas, for example, was born of the "Es muss sein!", whereas Tereza was born from the rumbling of a stomach.
  • When Tereza went up to Tomas's apartment for the first time, she was embarrassed that her stomach was rumbling.