The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by

Milan Kundera

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The American Actress Character Analysis

A participant in the Grand March. Like the German pop star, the American actress treats the Grand March like a photo opportunity, only she claims that participating in the Grand March is her “moral obligation.” The actress’s fame means that she attracts paparazzi, and she uses her fame to draw attention to the tragedy in Cambodia. She claims that the Grand March “won’t get anywhere without stars,” but, of course, the Grand March doesn’t get anywhere with stars. The American actress highlights the failure of the Grand March, which is ultimately unsuccessful.

The American Actress Quotes in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The The Unbearable Lightness of Being quotes below are all either spoken by The American Actress or refer to The American Actress. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time, Happiness, and Eternal Return Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of The Unbearable Lightness of Being published in 2009.
Part 6, Chapter 29 Quotes

What remains of the dying population of Cambodia?

One large photograph of an American actress holding an Asian child in her arms.

What remains of Tomas?

An inscription reading HE WANTED THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH

What remains of Beethoven?

A frown, an improbably man, and a somber voice intoning “Es muss sein!

What remains of Franz?

An inscription reading A RETURN AFTER LONG WANDERINGS.

And so on and so forth. Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between being and oblivion.

Page Number: 277-8
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Unbearable Lightness of Being LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being PDF

The American Actress Character Timeline in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The timeline below shows where the character The American Actress appears in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 6, Chapter 18
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
The American actress , who had been near the back of the Grand March, moves quickly to the... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 19
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
At the front of the line, the American actress begins to march next to the German pop star. An American photographer notices the photo... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 23
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
...and everyone fits into one of four categories. The first group of people, like the American actress and the German pop star, require infinite eyes looking at them. The second group—to which... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 29
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
All that remains of the Grand March is a picture of the American actress , and all that remains of Tomas is a tombstone that reads: “HE WANTED THE... (full context)