In Zurich, Tomas was always at work, and Tereza was left alone with Karenin. She kept thinking about Dubcek and his speech on the radio. They had all thought Dubcek weak after that, but Tereza no longer hated him for his weakness. She realized that she was weak, too, and belonged “in the country of the weak.” Tomas could tell that Tereza was again experiencing vertigo, and he asked her if she was okay. She said she was fine, and that she only wanted him to be old, so he would be weak like her.
Tereza’s vertigo is a manifestation of her weakness in relation to Tomas, which is mirrored in Dubcek’s weakness and the weakness of Czechoslovakia in the face of the absolute power of Russia. At the end of the novel, Tereza notes how much Tomas has aged, and she finally sees him as weak. By then, however, Tereza is no longer the weak one and has amassed all the power in her relationship with Tomas, which implies that someone will always have power over the other person; no relationship can be truly equal.