The Unbearable Lightness of Being

An Exploration into the Postmodern in The Unbearable Lightness of Being 11th Grade

Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being outlines a richly detailed world of philosophical and metaphysical exploration. The novel projects and addresses a variety of sociocultural, political and ideological issues of the period of publication, with many of the events serving to draw parallels between the lives of the characters and the author himself. He utilizes elements of postmodern literature such as intertextuality, pastiche, temporal distortion and metafiction to convey the grandeur of man’s thoughts through the juxtaposition of the simple plot and complex abstract ideas. Through the use of these elements of the postmodern, Kundera exemplifies how every individual strives to develop and express his spiritual self through analysis and exploration of various arts and studies such as writing, music and philosophy rather than through direct, conventional communication.

Through the use of pastiche and the recurring musical motif, the novel incorporates a plethora of music references, which are used to demonstrate the spiritually lifting, intellectual qualities of this art form and the way it allows individuals to reach a greater understanding of themselves and simultaneously to communicate with others...

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