The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 5, Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

One afternoon while washing a storefront window, Tomas runs into an old colleague from the hospital. He is polite but standoffish, and Tomas knows that his position as a persecuted intellectual is no longer respected and has instead turned into something “permanent and unpleasant.” 
Even though Tomas lost his job as a surgeon, he still had the respect of his colleagues for standing up to the regime, but this seems to have worn off. Now, Tomas isn’t respected at all, and since he can never be a surgeon again, this disrespect is likely permanent.
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