The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 2, Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Tereza kept thinking about Sabina’s letter to Tomas, the one in which Sabina said she wanted to have sex with him on a stage, and these thoughts excited Tereza. She began to think that if Tomas were to take her along when he went to visit his mistresses, then it wouldn’t be infidelity. She longed to “merge into a hermaphrodite” with Tomas, so they could go to his mistresses together. 
The imagined merging of Tomas and Tereza into a hermaphrodite again brings together opposites and renders them meaningless. The male/female opposition is a common one with much significance, but Kundera undermines this opposition in a number of ways: the hypothetical merging of Tomas and Tereza’s genders, the blurring of Karenin’s gender, and the way that Sabina expresses her sexuality through clothing that is both masculine and feminine.
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