Literature Review: Unbearable Lightness of Being

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In the novel Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, dreams take an important place as key symbolism. In this respect, dreams represent and foreshadow the future, they provide a deeper knowledge on characters’ feelings and their issues. Dreams seem to be the author’s way of telling the reader what is really happening in each of the characters minds. In this way the complicated lives and romantic relationships which many of the characters endure have led the author to create images and profound introspection of their past and their worries, by expressing those in dreams. This also provides a clear image of the never told situations of the book. One of the main characters who experiences a series of intense dreams is Teresa. In her dreams she explores and her traumatic path and she suffers through her fear of losing Thomas and her jealousy of other women:”Let me return to this dream. Its horror did not begin with Tomas's first pistol shot; it was horrifying from the outset. Munarching naked in formation with a group of naked women was for Tereza the quintessential image of horror. When she lived at home, her mother forbade her to lock the bathroom door. What she meant by her injunction was: Your body is just like all other bodies; you have no right to shame; you have no reason to hide something that exists in millions of identical copies. In her mother's world all bodies were the same and marched behind one another in formation” Teresa’s anguish is totally understandable within the context of her complex relationship with Thomas. Such relationship is based on her needy love for Thomas, and the toleration of Tomas´s vulgar affairs with other women for fear of losing him completely. For these mai... ... middle of paper ... committed in her life, that lightness that seem to take over her, but at the end of the novel makes her feel weak and powerless. In conclusion, the symbolism that dreams have in the novel enables the reader to understand the power of the unrevealed feelings and troubles that the characters have. Nonetheless dreams are also seen involuntary images of the truth beyond the eye that push some characters to take different paths from the options presented in terms of emotions and actions. Teresa and Franz are characters involved in the heaviness of love and destructive relationships whose dreams open their eyes to a reality they are afraid to see and understand. Accordingly, Teresa stays with Thomas and Franz with his student. Works Cited Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, trans. Michael Henry Heim. New York: Harper Collins, 1984.

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