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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 4, Chapter 16 Summary

  • Tereza goes to the engineer's apartment, a one-room deal loaded with bookshelves stuffed with books.
  • (Remember that, to Tereza, books are the symbol of a secret brotherhood she longed for as a child.)
  • He asks her if she wants wine, and she asks for coffee instead.
  • She notices a copy of Sophocles' Oedipus on his bookshelf. It seems odd to her to find it here, given Tomas's obsession with the text. It makes her feel as though Tomas is sending her a secret message, that it was his decision to send her here.
  • The engineer comes back and puts his hand on her; she says the words, "But it wasn't my choice," but this time it has no effect at all (4.16.10). He embraces her.
  • Tereza realizes that the real Tereza – her soul – is not involved in this embrace. Only her body is.

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