Friday, September 2, 2016


Before researching, I didn't know how involved the USSR was in the everyday lives of Czech People. While reading the novel, Kundera focused on the characters' personal struggles while placing Russian influence in the background. The influence of the USSR troops seemed as though seemed little in connection to the grand scheme of everything and the only place in the novel where it seemed pertinent was during the time when Tomas lost his job due to his remarks made about the Soviet troops. However, after researching I learned that the troops affected almost every activity for the Czech people. Not only did the USSR censor literature, but also movies, films, and basically anything anti Communism. The goal of the troops seemed harmless enough on the surface being to make society better and equal for everyone. Yet the ends didn't justify the means because the troops didn't even fulfill the goal they so hoped for in the first place and ended up destroying the lives of many people for ultimately nothing in the end. Overall, I think it is interesting to look back on that point in history where a desired paradise lead to the decimation of many lives through the taking away of freedom and livelihood.

1 comment:

Brooke Williamson said...

I really like Rickeia's opinion here, especially her last sentence describing the failed attempt at paradise. I agree that I was also quite oblivious as to the extent of USSR power over the Czech people. I think propaganda during this time period really diluted the reality of what was actually happening in Czechoslovakia and ultimately only highlighted the Russians & their leader, Stalin, in a falsified, positive manner. Ultimately, the Russians ended up abusing their relationship with the Czech people which resulted in the 1948 coup. I think this example goes to show how bad totalitarian rule was and why it was ineffective then, and should not be used now. However, in the world today, North Korea is seen as a totalitarian state and even described as "'strikingly similar' to the atrocities committed by the Nazis." Below I have attached an example of propaganda which suggests Stalin as a harmless, loving leader as well as a link comparing the current North Korean totalitarian government to the Nazis of the 1930-40s.