Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 6, Chapter 28

By Milan Kundera

Part 6, Chapter 28

  • When Simon receives the telegram about Tomas and Tereza's death, he immediately gets on his motorcycle and heads to their village to arrange the funeral.
  • On Tomas's gravestone, he has engraved the words: "HE WANTED THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH" (6.28.2). He knows that Tomas would never have said these words, but feels as though they expressed what his father thought, deep down.
  • Above Franz's grave were the words "A RETURN AFTER LONG WANDERINGS" (6.28.3).
  • Religiously, it meant a return to God's kingdom. But of course everyone knew that it was meant to refer to his marriage with Marie-Claude.
  • Indeed, Marie-Claude popularized this interpretation.
  • According to Marie-Claude, Franz had simply been taken by a mid-life crisis, and was ensnared by that young girl. But deep down, Franz was good, and always loved his wife.
  • This was why, tortured, he sought his own death in Cambodia.
  • He even begged her forgiveness, she says, with his eyes of course, before his death. And she forgave him.