Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dreaming in TULB

Tereza has many odd dreams throughout the beginning of the novel that all relate to Tomas. They are usually connected to how he sleeps around with many women and is a very commanding man. The specific dream I want to talk about is the one where she is going to get executed, or at least I think it's a dream. It is never explicitly stated, however I think it is supposed to be assumed due to the lack of reality surrounding the scene. It seems like Tereza is very unhappy with life, and the only thing she lives for is Tomas, and she is not happy with his actions. She did not say she wanted to die before, but I think this is the first time she realizes that she contemplates death as a possibility. Later in the novel she says she wants to die, but I haven't finished it yet so I'm not sure if she dies in the end or not. Overall dreams function as an important window into the mind of Tereza, but I wonder what this dream means.

6 comments:

Ian J said...

This reminds me of how Tereza "has a desire to fall". I first got the impression that she fears death, however later in the novel I believe she desires death or some escape from her current reality, but it is weird because she is not seeking out this "end" to her life. I get the feeling that she was not very valued as a child, or maybe Kundera explicitly says that in the novel, I'm not sure. Either way, because she's not valued, she’s looking for someone to fill this void in her life, hence she is attached to Tomas. However, the void is still there because Tomas cheats on her and is not a big part of her life.

Ian J said...

(I accidentally posted my previous comment without this part). Tereza might see death as a way out of this void in her life. In terms of lightness and heaviness, death could be "light" in a way and "heavy" in way. Death might symbolize the middle ground between light and heavy and it could symbolize peace and peace would certainly be a way out. Another thing Tereza constantly fixates on is the division between soul and body. Since Tereza is so obsessed with her body, she might want to die in order to get rid of her body (soul body split) wherein her soul would be separated from her body.

wkuehne said...

The portrayal of Thomas in Theresa's dreams is very interesting. Thomas is a misogynistic, sadistic, and very unemotional person in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. He coldly kills people in Theresa's dream, which reveals Theresa's perception of Thomas as a very cold and unemotional person.

Tyler Dean said...

It was also sort of unclear to me. I though it was real until the next day when i asked about it. I think she fears all of the women around her. In the dream they are all around a pool in bathing suits. She always talks about how her mother made her not like showing the body. Also, she describes how she doesn't want varicose veins because it is ugly. On one side she hates showing the body, but on the other hand she doesn't want her body to deteriorate. It is a paradoxical situation in my mind.

Madeline Davis said...

I found this dream interesting as well. Honestly, I didn't realize it was a dream at first, but as I keep reading and Tereza continues to refer to it, it seems fragmented and out of touch with reality. As for what it signifies, I think it represents Tereza's feeling of weakness around Tomas. She constantly wants to please him and in doing so, she upsets herself. In my opinion, Tereza seems almost masochistic in her desire to please Tomas. In the dream on the hill, she follows his commands out of her desire to please him, even though doing so terrifies her and leads her close to death.

Ben Bonner said...

@Will: Slow down just a bit. Don't get me wrong, Tomas is by no means a model of ethical behavior and moral righteousness, but I wouldn't completely condemn him as a person. With regards to his unemotionalness, I don't think we see anything that substantiates that claim. We know that he feels guilty when he sleeps with other women, that is why he is forced to get drunk first. So he is at minimum capable of empathy if nothing else. This also shows that he is not "sadistic;" he doesn't take pleasure in causing Tereza pain. And while he is certainly a womanizer, I don't think you can go so far as to claim that he is a misogynist.