The Unbearable Lightness of Being
by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 4, Chapter 8 Summary
- The narrator defines flirtation as leading another to believe that sex is possible while at the same time preventing that possibility from becoming a certainty.
- When Tereza works behind the bar, the men flirt with her, Yet it doesn't bother her.
- On the contrary, she wants to expose her body to that "undertow" (4.8.2).
- Tomas is always trying to convince her that love and sex are two different things.
- She now wonders what it would be like to have sex with the men who flirt with her at the bar.
- The narrator clarifies; it's not that she wants to take revenge on Tomas; it's just that she wants to "learn lightness," so as to be less of a burden to Tomas (4.8.4).
- But flirting doesn't come naturally to Tereza.
- Instead, she studies it seriously, and in doing so, deprives it of its lightness.
- She doesn't understand how to suggest sex without promising it, and she ends up giving everyone the impression that she's easy.
- When men try honestly and are turned down, they think she's a tease.
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