Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 2, Chapter 18

By Milan Kundera

Part 2, Chapter 18

  • Tereza would have done anything for her mother's love.
  • Now that she was with Tomas, she got letters from her mother regularly, and they made her want to return home. This is her vertigo, her desire to fall.
  • When Tereza finds out that her mother has cancer, she is even more angry at Tomas; she feels as though she's abandoned her mother for a man who doesn't even love her enough to be faithful. She prepares to take a trip to see her mother.
  • But Tomas, being a doctor, does some hunting around and discovers that Tereza's mother does not have cancer. He stops her from going on the trip.
  • Tereza begins accidentally hurting herself by tripping or falling; this is a manifestation of her vertigo. But Tomas always picks her up.