The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 4, Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Every day Tereza secretly wishes for the tall stranger to return to the bar, but he never does. One particular day, the obnoxious man who had accused her of serving minors begins to tell a dirty joke. When Tereza interrupts him, he becomes angry. “You ought to thank your lucky stars we let you stay here in the bar,” he says to her. Tereza asks what he means by “we,” and then he asks her how she afforded the string of pearls around her neck. “Just remember that prostitution is a criminal offense,” he says. 
Tereza grows terrified that the secret police are trying to set her up as a prostitute so they can arrest and imprison her. This again illustrates the level of fear people are forced to live in under the communist regime. Tereza hasn’t done anything illegal, yet she still worries that she will be arrested and charged with a crime.
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