Saturday, April 6, 2013

Theme of Opposites is TULB

In TULb one of the major themes in the novel is the balance between opposites and the morality of one side verves it’s opposite or making a value judgement on either side.  One part has to be positive or good and it’s related opposite must therefore be negative or bad.  I think Toaists and Manichaeans had a similar philosophy of moral dualism for instance- yin vs yang. The narrator explains that eternal return, the recurrence of every experience forever, is a heavy burden weighted with moral implications and truth.  According to Parmenides, a Greek philosopher, the narrator hypothesizes that lightness of being—having no responsibility or moral obligations is the opposite of being burdened so it must be positive and eternal return, or the heaviness of being is negative. But he is unsure if that is true. (Is it? Must lightness/weight of being be deemed good or bad or can't it just be a fact of life?) Other dual aspects of relationships mentioned in the book include: sacrifice and guilt, fear of women and “erotic friendship” with them, trust and betrayal, male verses female sexuality, body and soul, etc. Tomas himself is described as a conjunction of “two worlds.” He is both a romantic lover and a debacherous womanizer.


Cassidy George said...

I think that although these binary opposites exist in the universe, life is the process of balancing these dichotomies. No character in the book is totally "light" or "heavy", nor are they totally faithful or unfaithful. To be human is to strike our own unique balances, to draw from both of the poles to create our own identity. This concept is exemplified in Sabina's description of the bowler hat in relation to her gender identity. She, in her lingerie, exudes femininity, while the bowler hat adds a historic and masculine quality to her. She is an intricate combination of both male and female qualities.

wkuehne said...

I agree with Cassidy, that while ULOB describes many dichotomies of human nature, is is very "Candide" (or candid) in saying that the middle path is the best path to take. Their is a homeostasis for most people, and while it may be lighter of heavier depending on the individual, it is good not to be unbearably light, or unbearably heavy.