The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by: Milan Kundera

Part 5: Lightness and Weight

Summary Part 5: Lightness and Weight

In some ways, Tomas remains the light man he has always been. He leaves his work, his hospital, the dissidents, and his son in order to maintain lightness. In another sense, however, Tomas becomes more heavy in this section of the novel. He acts on principle when he refuses to sign the various documents; moreover, his love life eventually becomes more weighty. Although in the first part of the chapter Tomas and Tereza are estranged, a significant change occurs at the end of the chapter when Tomas realizes that he ranks Tereza's happiness first in importance. He ultimately decides to give up his extramarital affairs for her sake. His love for Tereza has finally acquired weight.