In the novel, Kundera makes an extended use of symbolism through many elements, the mirror included in them. As a symbol, this artefact works as a depicter of the truth, of the reality we sometimes blind ourselves to see. There is no compassion; a mirror presents an object just as it is before our eyes. The fact that the author utilises a sentence on its own to demonstrate this action (“Tereza went in to get dressed and stood in front of the large mirror” (l.1)), gives the impression of there being a pause in which the character is able to ponder on the image reflected towards her. Consequently we face her direct reaction: “No, there was nothing monstrous about her body” (l.3). From the very start we are introduced into an atmosphere of negativity, characteristic of Tereza’s attribution of being a “heavy” woman. Through the adjective “monstrous” we understand how Tereza was looking fo...
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...ss is demonstrated as a result from childhood scars regarding her confidence. Therefore, as a result, she isn’t satisfied with her life and frequently doubts herself, bringing down her self esteem further on. In my opinion, Tereza seeks to be united with Tomas merely in soul because she knows that union is something nobody else can interfere in, since a bond of that type has the guarantee of being eternal, whereas a body can change and decay. Despite the idea that our soul is supposed to be light as it is what emerges from us after death, I believe it is the body which is light as it only serves a function over a limited period of time, whereas our soul can be preserved either on its own or in unison with another one.
Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, trans. Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. New York: Faber and Faber, 1984. Pp. 134-135.
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