Tereza's nightmares continue. Their content overtly expresses Tereza's fear and jealousy of the other women Tomas sleeps with. She dreams cats attack her (it is worthwhile to note that in Czech, the word "cat" is slang for a pretty woman), that Thomas for ces her to perform humiliating acts along with other women, and that she is dead, stripped of her clothes, and plagued by other naked corpses.
Tomas realizes that Tereza is a burden, and that she denies him the privacy he covets, but according to the narrator, his compassion dooms him to take stay with her. Nor does he simply pity Tereza; Tomas finds he can no longer enjoy other women so lighthe artedly. While he does not give up his other sexual partners completely, he finds that if he does not drink before sex, Tereza's image haunts him.
Eventually, Tomas marries Tereza in an effort to make her happy.
Tomas buys Tereza a dog that will become important later in the novel. Although the dog is female, they give her the male name Karenin, after a character in the novel Anna Karenina. The dog grows fiercely devoted to Tereza.
Along with his troubled personal life, Tomas must contend with political turmoil. It is August 1968, and Soviet tanks invade Prague, establishing direct control of the Communist regime. This development puts Tomas in personal danger, because the Communist s object to a paper he wrote years ago. A Swiss doctor offers Tomas a job in Zurich to get him out of the country. For Tereza's sake, Tomas rejects the doctor's offer.
Tereza is happiest during the invasion, roaming the streets with her camera and doing courageous work as a photojournalist. She hands her film to foreign journalists to be published abroad and increase Western awareness of the brutalities taking place. Te reza decides to emigrate. She and Tomas leave their homeland for Zurich.