The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 6, Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Kitsch is Sabina’s nemesis, and she has spent her whole life trying to avoid it. Her idea of kitsch is the traditional notion of home with a mother and father, and this idea took hold sometime after the death of Sabina’s parents. In America, Sabina lives with an elderly couple who refer to her as their “daughter.” No one, the narrator says, can completely escape kitsch, even if you try your whole life to avoid it.
In moving in with the elderly couple and mimicking a traditional family, Sabina effectively becomes kitsch. The relationship she forms with the couple ignores the fact that they aren’t, strictly speaking, family. Traditional families are cliché (which is precisely why Sabina considers this idea kitsch) and yet Sabina willingly participates in creating an image of one, which shows how inescapable kitsch is.
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