Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 2, Chapter 9

By Milan Kundera

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Part 2, Chapter 9

  • Now we return to Tomas after he's come back to Prague from Zurich to be with Tereza again. Remember that he feels uneasy about the fact that he and Tereza are only together as the result of "six improbable fortuities" (2.9.1). But, the narrator asks, isn't an event more significant, the greater number of fortuities it takes to bring it about?
  • Indeed, it is chance that has a real message for us. Things that happen out of necessity are mute, but chance can speak to us.
  • When Tereza came over to Tomas's table at the restaurant, he asked for a drink, and she heard Beethoven come on the radio. Beethoven had long been a symbol to her of that secret world she longed to be a part of.
  • If love is to be unforgettable, argues the narrator, "fortuities must immediately start fluttering down to it like birds to Francis of Assisi's shoulders" (2.9.7).

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 2, Chapter 9 Study Group

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