The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Young Man Character Analysis

A 16 year old boy who comes into the Prague bar where Tereza works and tries to order a drink. Tereza refuses to serve him, and he promptly goes across the street to another bar and proceeds to get drunk. He comes back to Tereza’s bar, obviously intoxicated, and the obnoxious man accuses Tereza of serving the young man alcohol, even though she hadn’t. The young man leaves, and Tereza never sees him again, but she has a nagging feeling that something isn’t right about him, especially once she finds out that the obnoxious man is actually secret police. Tereza is convinced that the young man was a trap set by the Communist regime’s secret police to incriminate and imprison her. Her suspicion is never confirmed, but the young man serves to illustrate the extreme paranoia that results from the regime’s intimidation. Tereza is constantly worried about being arrested, even though she does nothing wrong.
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The Young Man Character Timeline in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The timeline below shows where the character The Young Man appears in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 4, Chapter 9
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
One day, a young man of about 16 comes into Tereza’s restaurant and begins to flirt with her. He compliments... (full context)