The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Tereza’s mother resented her “old and ugly” reflection and took her negative feelings out on Tereza, who she felt was responsible for her resentment in the first place. After all, it was Tereza who had sealed her fate as a mother. A mother is “Sacrifice personified,” the narrator says, and a daughter is “Guilt, with no possibility of redress.”
Kundera’s language here is a bit ironic. Other than her looks and youth, Tereza’s mother has actually sacrificed nothing for Tereza. Tereza’s mother is manipulative and cruel, and she makes Tereza miserable, yet Tereza still feels profound guilt for her mother’s “sacrifice.”
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