Freudian Psychoanalysis for Tereza from the Unbearable Lightness of Being

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychology, Carl Jung Pages: 3 (1153 words) Published: May 16, 2012
Analysis paper #2

Personality is what makes us who we are. It sculpts the thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that stay with us our entire lives. This analysis will be focused on understanding the personality of the character Tereza, from The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundara. Freud’s psychodynamic theory declares that all our behaviors and feelings as adults are rooted in childhood experiences and are affected by unconscious motives. Indeed, Tereza is a character whose past is what forms her as an individual. In the novel, a clear connection can be made and her character explained using the psychodynamic theory. The philosophical and highly political novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being follows the lives of two men, two women, and a dog through the communist period of Czechoslovak. Tereza, wife of Tomas, is an intellectual and a photographer who grew up in a remote town in the country. Tereza’s mother was a beauty in her youth who married early due to pregnancy and left both her husband and child to live with a degenerate. Tereza eventually had to go live with her mother whose beauty had faded with age and pregnancy. The parent frequently embarrassed Tereza who was naturally shy in order to displace the frustration she had with her own lost beauty. She walked around naked in her house and talked about her sex life in public with women equally as shameful as her. Tereza was not allowed to lock the door while using the toilet because her mother wanted to prove that “…the world is nothing but a vast concentration camp of bodies, one like the next, with souls invisible” [pg. 47]. One can see how Tereza would have reacted to the vulgarity of her environment and dreamed of pursing something greater in a cultured world. From information on her past, one could analyze how Tereza might have developed tremendously in the aspects of ego and super ego. She learns very visually about what is not appropriate behavior from her mother’s coarse and boorish...
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