The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by

Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 2, Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Tereza’s recurring dream, in which she walks naked around a pool with other naked women, is her idea of complete and utter horror. Her body is like all the others, and none of them have souls. The other women rejoice in their soullessness, but Tereza does not. She doesn’t understand why Tomas stands nearby, shooting the women one after another.    
Tereza’s reoccurring pool dream is eerily like a concentration camp, which Kundera mentions throughout the novel. During WWII, the Nazis operated a concentration camp in Bohemia, a part of Czechoslovakia, called the Theresienstadt Ghetto. The ghetto ran from 1941-1945, during which time some 33,000 Czech Jews were murdered. The narrator mentions in the beginning of the book that his family had been killed in a Nazi concentration camp, and it is likely that he is referencing the Theresienstadt Ghetto.   
Themes
Time, Happiness, and Eternal Return Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
Tomas is the one who has sent Tereza to stand with the other women, the narrator says, and that is what the dream is meant to tell both of them. Tereza came to Prague to escape her mother’s world where all  bodies are the same, but Tomas has “drawn an equal sign” between Tereza’s body and his mistresses’ bodies. He kisses them the same and touches them the same, and there is again no difference between Tereza’s body and the bodies of others.
Tereza fears that she is just another body to Tomas, like she was just another body to her mother. Tomas has drawn “an equal sign” between Tereza and the others, which suggests, in her mind, that she does not have power over the other women—meaning Tomas does not love her and she is just another mistress and sexual conquest.
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
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