The Hitchhiking Game

by Milan Kundera

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 293

Many of Kundera' s stories are set in Czechoslovakia in the second half of the Twentieth Century. Learn more about the political history of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) since World War II. What major political and social upheavals has the country experienced? How has the country's political climate affected the life and work of Kundera? How are the social, political, and economic conditions of the nation different now from the time in which "The Hitchhiking Game'' was first written and published?

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The greatest Czech fiction writer of the first half of the Twenthieth Century was Franz Kafka. Learn more about the life and work of Kafka and the social and political climate in which he wrote. Like Kundera, Kafka's work was also banned in his own country—although not until years after his death. Pick one of Kafka's short stories to read. How can his life and work be illuminated by understanding the historical context in which he lived and worked?

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Vaclav Havel and Miroslav Holub are both wellknown Czech writers of Kundera's generation. Learn more about the life and work of either Havel or Holub. How were his experiences and choices as a writer in the same political climate as Kundera different from, or similar to, those of Kundera? In what ways did these experiences affect his poetry?

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Latest answer posted September 18, 2016, 9:00 pm (UTC)

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The government-sanctioned style of literature during much of Kundera's lifetime was "socialist realism.’’ What are the basic aesthetic and political principles of the ‘‘socialist realist’’ style in writing? In other art forms? What is the history of the ‘‘socialist realist’’ style?

Read another one of Kundera's stories in the collection Laughable Loves, (in which ‘‘The Hitchhiking Game’’ appeared). It what ways does it explore similar themes to those explored in ‘‘The Hitchhiking Game’’?

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