The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by: Milan Kundera

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

"'Not at all,' said Tereza. 'They're the same.' Neither the editor nor the photographer understood her, and even I find it difficult to explain what she had in mind when she compared a nude beach to the Russian invasion."

Tereza sees an irreconcilable split between body and soul. Traumatized early on by the lack of privacy in her mother's house, Tereza hates the sight of exposed, ugly, naked bodies. She equates her childhood to a concentration camp because both lack privacy. Her desire for freedom from her body explains the special pain caused by Tomas's womanizing, as well; she had hoped he would love her soul and make her feel integrated. Instead, the idea that he equates her body with those of other women dr ives her to the brink of insanity.