The Unbearable Lightness of Being Essay (Love, Loss, and Desperation)

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  • Topic: Love, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Nudity
  • Pages : 3 (1034 words )
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  • Published : June 6, 2012
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Love, Loss, and Desperation
To most people, love is a generally beautiful thing that fills one with happiness. Usually, if one person really loves another, he or she would never dream of hurting or cheating on this loved one. However, sometimes this does not happen. Love is not always pleasurable, sometimes it can be painful. Throughout The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, the definition of love is twisted, knotted, and otherwise distorted. Love, and the weight that comes with it, is a main theme of the novel, which is evident in the stories of Tereza, Tomas, and Sabina.

Tereza really loves Tomas. She loves him so much, in fact, that even when she explicitly finds out that Tomas is cheating on her, she does not leave him. She does cheat on him once, but does not enjoy the experience in the slightest. Her love for him is essentially absolute, but she worries that Tomas does not feel the same way about her. This doubt stems from her childhood trauma of the lack of privacy in her mother’s house, as demonstrated here: “‘Not at all,' said Tereza. 'They're the same.' Neither the editor nor the photographer understood her, and even I find it difficult to explain what she had in mind when she compared a nude beach to the Russian invasion” (69.) To the normal person, nude beaches and the Russian Invasion have absolutely no relation to each other. But to Tereza, the analogy makes perfect sense. Now, due to those traumatizing years, Tereza hates the sight of naked bodies. She associates concentration camps and naked bodies, because they both lack a large amount of privacy. In addition, this complete lack of privacy has given her a complex of sorts, in which she separates body and soul more than the usual person. She worries that Tomas will compare her body to the bodies of the many other women he sleeps with, but all Tereza wants is for Tomas to love her for her soul. This situation is not helped in the slightest when Tereza discovers letters from...
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