In Milan Kundera’s novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera argues the meaning of lightness and weight by associating them with their heaviness in life. This topic becomes the theme throughout the majority of the novel. The lightness, as Kundera puts it, is seeing that ultimately there is no purpose for life, so to be it the light, is just finding peace and beauty in what is present.
On the other hand for weight, Kundera believes that there is only one life for everyone, and since no one has anything to put their life in comparison to, their life is meaningless. The unbearable lightness of being represent those who are stuck in the darkness, for all they feel is the heaviness of life. Kundera illustrates his characters to be examples of people affected by the weight of lightness. This is shown in Franz, he feels freedom when Sabina leaves him and is in bliss in the lightness, whereas Sabina is suffering from it. Once again, Kunder brings up this figurative border that separates people from their future, and leaves them with many unanswered questionsFor a good portion of the novel Sabina’s and Franz’s relationship become the center of interest. Both of them make sacrifices to be together, but once it works out and they truly have each other, realization hits them and it now occurs to them how tied down to each other they are. When Sabina leaves Fanz says, “What was important was the golden footprint, the magic footprint she had left on his life and no one could ever remove. Just before disappearing from his horizon, she had slipped him Hercules’ broom, and he had used it to sweep everything he despised out of his life.
A sudden happiness, a feeling of bliss, the joy that came of freedom and a new life – these were the gifts she had left him.” (Kundera 3.9.18).
Franz enjoyed the time they had together, and a part of that will always stay with him, the “broom” is used as a metaphorical being to imply that he is sweeping away all of the burdens in his life. Now he is overcome with a feeling of bliss due to his new found freedom. In Kundera’s terms, this feeling of being free and untide is classified as lightness.Sabina on the other hand has left on her own free will, but the result takes a different tole on her. Kundera talks about how there are the strong and the weak. The weak don’t need a purpose so they live in bliss, whereas the strong are tormented by the “unbearable lightness of being” for they need purpose in their life, and that is something that is not granted.When Sabina leaves Kundera narrates, “When we want to give expression to a dramatic situation in our lives, we tend to use metaphors of heaviness.
We say that something has become a great burden to us. We either bear the burden or fail and go down with it, we struggle with it, win or lose. And Sabina-what had come over her? Nothing. She had left a man because she felt like leaving him. Had he persecuted her? Had he tried to take revenge on her? No. Her drama was a drama not of heaviness but of lightness. What fell to her lot was not the burden but the unbearable lightness of being.
” (Kundera 3.10.2). Sabina would rather be left with a burden, for at least that gives some purpose to her life.
She is strong, for she can see through the false representation of bliss in life, whereas Franz is weak and overcome by it.Once again the topic of boundaries makes its way into the theme of the novel. Kundera wants for the reader to understand the heaviness that unanswered questions hold, for they could very well be the key to the purpose of life, and why life exists. Kundera states, “Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.
” (Kundera 4.6.7). In other words, there could be countless of opportunities and places that are different replicas of the world that could all just be off by one simple decision made by one small unimportant person that had set off an entire butterfly effect, or there could only be one life, one chance, and these unanswered questions are what define The Unbearable Lightness of Being.The novel, The Unbearable Lightness of being, by Milan Kundera, The theme of lightness versus weight is a large topic of interest for the novel. Many of the Characters mold around this idea of bliss and/or heaviness in life due to their outlook.
Franz is a representation of the “weak” for he find bliss in the light, whereas, Sebina is a representation of the “strong” for she sees the light at a burden. The unanswered questions in life are what differentiate the lightness from the heaviness and ultimately create The Unbearable Lightness of Being.