The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by

Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 3, Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Franz is a muscular man, and Sabina likes to stroke his muscles in bed. She tells him he is strong, but Sabina really thinks he is weak. He doesn’t order her to strip the way Tomas did, and Franz believes that to love someone is to renounce all strength. Franz and Sabina also differ in their definitions of what it means to live in truth. Sabina thinks it is only possible to live in truth out of the public eye. When someone is watching, Sabina says, people act differently and therefore are not “living in truth.”  
Franz’s muscular build is at obvious odds with his weak character. His muscles imply strength, but he has absolutely no power. In this respect, Franz is an obvious contrast to Tomas. For Tomas, love and sex are all about power and strength, but Franz considers love the absence of strength. Sabina’s belief that truth cannot occur in the public eye again reflects her history in a communist country. The forced May Day parade is a prime example of how, for Sabina, public acts are not “living in truth.”
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
For Franz, however, “living in truth” means living publically, which is why he decides to tell Marie-Claude about his affair. After telling Marie-Claude all about Sabina and their affair, Franz meets Sabina at the airport. As their plane takes off and gains altitude, Franz feels “lighter and lighter.”
Franz is obviously thinking about his relationship with Sabina here. They have to lie and sneak around, which is why Franz believes going public is the only way to live in truth. Franz feels “lighter” because he has unburdened his soul regarding his infidelity. 
Themes
Lightness, Weight, and Dichotomies  Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon