The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by

Milan Kundera

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The Prague Spring Term Analysis

A period of widespread protest in Czechoslovakia against the Communist state declared in the country after World War II. The protests of the Prague Spring began on January 5, 1968, with the election of Alexander Dubcek, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The Prague Spring officially ended when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia and occupied the country with 650,000 armed Russian troops and tanks, a maneuver which was meant to last only a handful of days but continued for nearly eight months. The Unbearable Lightness of Being takes place in the period before, during, and after the Prague Spring, a time in Czechoslovakian history marked by intense conflict and mass emigration.

The Prague Spring Quotes in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The The Unbearable Lightness of Being quotes below are all either spoken by The Prague Spring or refer to The Prague Spring. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time, Happiness, and Eternal Return Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of The Unbearable Lightness of Being published in 2009.
Part 2, Chapter 26 Quotes

Thinking in Zurich of those days, she no longer felt any aversion to the man. The word “weak” no longer sounded like a verdict. Any man confronted with superior strength is weak, even if he has an athletic body like Dubcek’s. The very weakness that at the time had seemed unbearable and repulsive, the weakness that had driven Tereza and Tomas from the country, suddenly attracted her. She realized that she belonged among the weak, in the camp of the weak, in the country of the weak, and that she had to be faithful to them precisely because they were weak and gasped for breath in the middle of sentences.

Related Characters: Tereza, Alexander Dubcek
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Prague Spring Term Timeline in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The timeline below shows where the term The Prague Spring appears in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 11
Time, Happiness, and Eternal Return Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
...aware of this fact on the 10th day of Russia’s occupation of Czechoslovakia after the Prague Spring in August of 1968. A friend in Switzerland keeps calling to offer Tomas a job... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 25
Time, Happiness, and Eternal Return Theme Icon
...go for a night at a country spa they went to years earlier, before the Prague Spring and the Russian occupation. (full context)