The UnbearableLightness of Being By: Milan Kundera
With fear of commitment comes infidelity• How many of you have a fear of commitment?• Commitment was a big fear for Tomas he had fear of committing to woman because he did not want to lose the power he had of being able to womanize.
• Milan Kundera spent a lot of his time in Prague where he was a professor at Prague’s Academy of Preforming Arts. The book also takes place in Prague.• Kundera was a very secretive person, he did not like sharing his personal life with the world which also reflects the main character Tomas because he to was very secretive.• Kundera was interviewed by a British write Ian McEwan and had said “We constantly re-write our own biographies and continually give matters new meanings. To re-write history in this sense - indeed, in an Orwellian sense- is not all inhuman. On the contrary it is very human.” The unbearable lightness of being may have been a biography or a part of Kundera’s life and what situation he could have gone through.
Summary• The book takes place in Prague late 1960’s meeting a 40 year old surgeon named Tomas; he is the ultimate womanizer. He meets and falls in love and gets married to a woman named Tereza. While married to Tereza he does not stop his womanizing ways. Tomas believes sex and love are two different things. Tomas has had a long time mistress named Sabina which Tereza knows of but soon enough both women get to know each other and become close and suddenly Tomas is caught between two for he has love for both.
Assertion 1• Power was a important thing to Tomas in the book, he always wanted to be in control if that was while having sex or even in his relationships with his many mistresses. Tomas always wanted power and control of any situation.• “Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman).” (Kundera 15)• Tomas is emotionally faithful to Tereza but physically unfaithful. Tomas believes that when you have sex with woman you discover something that makes them unique from any other. He believed that having sex with every woman he has collected something unique from the world.
Assertion 11• Tomas has the power to womanize just about any woman but what he soon realizes is that he is powerless against his own womanizing. He has no control. Tomas feared commitment which led to his infidelity with his relationship with Tereza and Sabina. His thought of having power was far more important. He womanized woman because he was in control of everything at all times, if he had stopped womanizing and stuck with just Tereza he had fear that possibly he would no longer have control and no longer have the power in the relationship.• “If excitement is a mechanism our Creator uses for His own amusement, love is something that belongs to us alone and enables us to flee the Creator. Love is our freedom. Love lies beyond "Es muss sein!" (Kundera 236)• The irony is that Tomas calls his personal womanizing “Es Muss Sein!” (Es Muss Sein means beyond ones control) although Tomas’s sexuality is characterized by the power he uses over womanizing but he is powerless against his own womanizing.
ConclusionI. Fear of commitment can lead to infidelity like it did with Tomas but today we should all learn that having power in the relationship doesn’t mean much when you can lose someone you truly love and care about. Just because you have power doesn’t mean the relationship is made out of true love in the end then it’s nothing but a power struggle.