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 18 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Before leaving Prague for Zurich, Tereza’s mother had called Tereza and told her that she was dying of cancer. Tereza told Tomas that she must go home at once, but Tomas was suspicious. He called a colleague in Tereza’s hometown and discovered that Tereza’s mother was not sick and hadn’t seen a doctor in years. Tereza “obeyed” Tomas, who didn’t want her returning to her mother, and hours later, Tereza fell walking in the street. She kept falling several times a day, as if she was living with continual vertigo, and Tomas kept picking her up.
The fact that Tereza “obeyed” Tomas when he didn’t want her to return to her mother, and that he has to keep picking her up when she falls, again implies Tereza’s weakness and Tomas’s power over her. He is in complete control of Tereza—he tells her what to do and even snoops around in her mother’s life—and he is the one to save her, too. Tereza is powerless compared to Tomas.
Themes
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon