After two years with Tereza, Tomas still has not given up his mistresses, but he has found he is unable to have sex with other women without alcohol. One night, while having sex with Sabina, Tomas keeps looking at his watch, nervous about getting home to Tereza too late. Afterward, Tomas can’t find one of his socks, and he is forced to borrow one of Sabina’s frilly socks for the chilly walk home. He knows that Sabina has hidden his sock; she is irritated with him for glancing at his watch and thinking about Tereza during their time together.
Sabina takes Tomas’s sock to gain some power over him, and over Tereza. Sabina knows that she has inferior status compared to Tereza, and the hiding of the sock is just the type of “insurrection,” or rebellion, that Tomas mentioned earlier. Tomas represents the physical body in the novel—the polar opposite to Tereza, the soul—but his need to drink before cheating on Tereza implies that he is not entirely body—he must trick his soul through drinking in order to betray his love for Tereza.