Franz is incapable of lightness. He creates meaning in his life by attaching solemn weight and importance to concepts and events. Thus, he adores marches and lives for the strong emotions of love and political conviction. Unlike Tereza, he is naive en ough to believe that his approach is the only possible one.

Franz can be described as kitsch in his tastes and ideas, but his character is more sympathetic than vulgar, for he is also a kind and compassionate man. He makes difficult decisions out conviction, and is noble and gentle, if impossibly unperceptive. Onl y at the very end of his life does he suspect he may have made some errors in judgment; this realization comes too late, however, as his idealism, naiveté and inability to understand his surroundings lead to a meaningless death in Bangkok.