The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 6, Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

As soon as Simon hears about Tomas’s death, he runs to handle the funeral arrangements. On Tomas’s gravestone, Simon has the following words engraved: “HE WANTED THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH.” Simon is pretty sure his father would not have said these words, but he believes he has the right to express the life of his father however he likes.  Marie-Claude has the following words engraved on Franz’s gravestone: “A RETURN AFTER LONG WANDERINGS.” During Franz’s last days, she was the only person he wanted. He couldn’t speak, but Marie-Claude just knew that the look he constantly gave her was his way of begging for forgiveness, so she forgave him. 
Neither Franz’s nor Tomas’s gravestone has anything to do with how they actually lived. Simon and Marie-Claude both know this (even if Marie-Claude denies it), which effectively makes both tombstones kitsch. Tomas likely did not believe in God, and Franz was not trying to return to Marie-Claude. Likely, the look Franz gave Marie-Claude was meant to question why she was even there (he probably wanted his girlfriend instead), but she ignores this and pretends that she belongs there.  
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