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 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At Sabina’s studio, Tereza noticed a black bowler hat on a stand. Sabina said it had been her grandfather’s, and Tereza offered to take Sabina’s picture wearing the hat. After about an hour, Tereza suggested that Sabina take her clothes off for some nude photos. Sabina laughed and opened a bottle of wine, and after several glasses, excused herself and went to the bathroom. Minutes later, Sabina came out of the bathroom wearing only a bathrobe, which she quickly threw open.
The bowler hat is symbolic of Sabina’s sexuality, and Tereza’s request that Sabina take her clothes off suggests that Tereza reads the hat in a sexual way, too. Ironically, the hat is Tomas’s sexual “prop” as well, although Tereza does not know this. Along with the alcohol, the hat give Sabina the courage to take her clothes off and submit to the nude photos.
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon