The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by

Milan Kundera

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A member of the Communist regime who tries to get Tomas to retract the article Tomas wrote about Oedipus. The dignitary implies that Tomas will be able to operate as a surgeon again if he just retracts what he said in the article. The regime even drafts a retraction for Tomas on his behalf, which the dignitary delivers to him, but Tomas refuses to sign. The dignitary is another arm of the regime. He serves to intimidate and spy on the Czech people and keep them silenced under the regime.
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The Dignitary Character Timeline in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The timeline below shows where the character The Dignitary appears in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 5, Chapter 5
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
...isn’t allowed to operate anymore and serves only as a general practitioner. One day, a dignitary comes to the clinic and asks Tomas to go for a drink. It is a... (full context)
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
The dignitary asks Tomas if he really believes that Communists should put out their eyes, and Tomas... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 6
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
Tomas is deeply depressed after the visit from the dignitary. What if he was seen talking to him? He doesn’t want anyone thinking he is... (full context)
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
Telling the dignitary he will write his own letter buys Tomas some time. He quits his job at... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 13
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
...and dark, and he looks familiar. It is the editor from the paper that the dignitary had mentioned. A second man is present, and Tomas immediately recognizes him as his son,... (full context)