Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 4, Chapter 4

By Milan Kundera

Part 4, Chapter 4

  • Tereza walks into Old Town Square, where the old town hall lies in ruins. The people of Prague left the ruined building as a monument to their suffering.
  • Tereza is reminded of her mother and her perverse need to parade her suffering and personal ugliness.
  • She feels as though her mother's world is coming back to her. It's becoming a concentration camp, which is what she used to call her mother's world.
  • In her mind, a concentration camp is "the complete obliteration of privacy" (4.4.3). We are born into a concentration camp and "can escape only with the greatest of efforts" (4.4.3).