The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Unbearable Lightness of Being can help.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 4, Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

The tall stranger begins to undress Tereza, but she refuses to help. Her soul disagrees with what her body is doing, and it doesn’t want to participate. Tereza’s soul watches her naked body from above, and she refuses to enjoy what is about to happen, but then she feels herself grow excited. Just as Tereza begins to orgasm, she yells: “No, no, no!” and spits in the man’s face.
This moment again illustrates the body and soul as separate entities. Tereza’s soul is at complete odds with what her body is engaged in, and the fact that Tereza spits in the man’s face is evidence of this. She doesn’t want to enjoy sex with him, and when her body begins to respond independent of her soul’s desire, she becomes angry.
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon