The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by

Milan Kundera

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Part 5, Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Womanizers fit into one of two categories. The first category, the “lyrical” womanizer, is looking for a very specific type of woman in many women, and they are often disappointed. The “epic” womanizer, on the other hand, is not looking for a specific type of woman and is never disappointed. Tomas is an “epic” womanizer, and like the others, he is a “curiosity collector.”
Tomas is never disappointed because he looks for how women are unique, and every woman is unique in some way. Describing Tomas as a “curiosity collector” again puts him in a position of power over women; even if he appreciates their differences, he still views them as objects to be conquered.
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon
One day, Tomas is called to an apartment to clean the windows, and the door is opened by a very tall woman, who looks much like a stork. Tomas is immediately intrigued. They instantly begin to flirt, and before they know it, they are caressing each other’s bodies. When Tomas tries to touch her between the legs, she resists. It is nearly the end of the appointment, but he has not washed a single window. The tall woman signs his slip anyway. Her husband is paying, she says, and he is paying the state, not Tomas. The transaction has nothing to do with either of them. 
The tall woman who looks like a stork is simply another “curiosity” Tomas would like to collect. She is clearly different from the other women Tomas has been with, and so he must “conquer” her, too. Here, Tomas’s need to conquer the tall woman is depicted as almost compulsive, as if he is unconsciously prone to the behavior and is unable to control himself.
Themes
Sex, Love, and Duality of Body and Soul Theme Icon
Power, Politics, and Inequality Theme Icon