Study Guide

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 5, Chapter 21

By Milan Kundera

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Part 5, Chapter 21

  • Tomas comes home, goes to sleep, and wakes up late with stomach pains.
  • Tomas finds no medicine in the cabinet.
  • When Tereza comes home from the bar, he tells her about the funeral, the editor, and S. They agree that Prague has grown ugly.
  • Tereza suggests that they move away to the country. Tomas feels that he is old, because all he wants now is peace and quiet. He knows that moving to the country would mean an end to his erotic adventures.
  • Tomas considers that his womanizing is another part of his es muss sein. If he really wants a holiday from imperatives and from weight, then a trip to the country would get the job done.
  • Tereza realizes his stomach is hurting again and tries to put him to bed. Tomas asks her what is wrong – she's been uneasy lately.
  • Tereza tries to say it's the same thing as always – namely Tomas's womanizing – but he pushes her to admit that there's been something different, worse, lately.
  • Finally she admits that it is his hair.
  • Every night she's had to go to sleep smelling the odor of another woman on his hair.
  • Tomas is horrified. He remembers being with a woman who made him use his hair and head to make love to her. He had tried to be so careful about washing himself everywhere, so that Tereza would never have to smell another woman. But he forgot about his hair.
  • To make Tereza feel better, he tells her that he'll call up that patient of his they met in the country to work out the details of a move for them.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Part 5, Chapter 21 Study Group

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