Friday, September 2, 2016

Historical Importance

Kundera says that one does not need to know the historical background to appreciate The Unbearable Lightness of Being. However, after researching the history for my project, a lot of scenes in the book make a lot more sense. I now can understand better what the characters are dealing with in their country. In my project, I used the scene where Tomas writes a newspaper article against the Communist Regime. It makes a lot more sense now that I know it was during the period when Dubcek was in power in 1968. I appreciate the book more now that I have the historical context. I think Kundera is wrong in his statement.

2 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

While I agree that historical context is important and must be given proper attention, I don't think knowing the history is pertinent for appreciating the book. The USSR and their influence seemed to be more of a background plot which shouldn't take away from the main story. I think Kundera wanted the reader to appreciate the characters for who they were regardless of historical context which is achievable due to the way in which Kundera wrote the novel. Even though I didn't get the full grasp of the Russian takeover, I was still able to understand that an outside force was influencing the lives of the four main characters which I think is all you need to appreciate the book as is.

Julia Scofield said...

I disagree with Rickeia, historical context is very important to understanding the novel. Understanding the historical context of the novel helps the reader to understand the smaller details of the novel. When Sabina accidentally spills red paint on one of her paintings, I didn't understand the importance of the event. Upon discovering how strict the regime was and how far the government would go to censor it's people, the significance of this event is much more clear to me