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 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As Tereza sat on the train to Prague with her massive suitcase and Karenin, she began again to feel vertigo and the intense desire to fall. Vertigo, the narrator says, can also be called “the intoxication of the weak.” It is an awareness of one’s weaknesses and the wish to give in rather than fight.
Again, Tereza’s vertigo is evidence of her weakness and desire to fall, while her suitcase represents her “heavy” emotions and metaphorical baggage. She deeply loves Tomas, and she is heartbroken because she doesn’t feel that her love is reciprocated.
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
Tereza had planned on returning to her small hometown rather than staying on in Prague, but by the fifth day after her arrival, she had made no effort to relocate. That night, Tomas returned. He asked her if she was all right and if she had been to the magazine to see about her old job. She said she hadn’t and told him that she had been waiting. When he asked her what she had been waiting for, Tereza did not want to tell Tomas that she was waiting for him, so she said nothing.
The fact that Tereza waits in Prague for Tomas instead of returning to the small town she is from is evidence that her return to Prague is a test of Tomas’s love. She is waiting for him to see if he really does love her like he says he does. Tomas’s return to Prague is indeed evidence of his love, and while he later regrets it, Tomas is undeniably drawn to Tereza regardless of the consequences—he is now stuck in Czechoslovakia indefinitely.
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon