Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 3, Chapter 6

By Milan Kundera

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Part 3, Chapter 6

  • Franz's wife, Marie-Claude, is throwing a party at their home. She owns a private gallery and has invited all the artists who display work in it.
  • We get a good sense of Marie-Claude's character when she tells a group of captive guests that, after she was in an accident, she enjoyed her time in the hospital because she got to read day and night.
  • Franz knows that she fell into a deep depression in the hospital and complained incessantly.
  • Franz is nervous waiting for Sabina to show up. Marie-Claude has met her before, but in general Sabina avoids the woman, who doesn't know about the affair.
  • Franz's eighteen-year-old daughter, Marie-Anne, is also at the party, acting rather rudely toward an artist with whom she is conversing (she's whistling while he talks to her).
  • Franz resents that his daughter is so much like his wife and wishes that she could be more like him instead.
  • Sabina shows up. Marie-Claude greets her and then declares that the pendant Sabina is wearing is terribly ugly.
  • Everyone laughs, and it's clear Marie-Claude didn't mean to be combative.
  • Franz wonders why his wife said this, and realizes that she did it because she is socially above Sabina.
  • Sabina depended on Marie-Claude to show her work in the gallery, but Marie-Claude did not depend on Sabina. Her comment served the purpose of reinforcing the balance of power between them.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 3, Chapter 6 Study Group

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