Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Surgeon

Something that popped into my mind while in class was the fact that Tomas's supposed reason for sleeping around with so many women is because he wants to find their unique quality. This fact is exemplified when he sleeps withe the "giraffe" woman. The woman is described as "Clumsiness combined with ardor, ardor with clumsiness-- they excited Tomas utterly"(Kundera 206). This combination of ardor with clumsiness what Tomas finds unique about this woman. What aggravates me is that Tereza does not seem to grasp that Tomas does see her with an "I." Tereza struggles with her body throughout the novel by representing it as a strong hold against her soul. The soul, being what makes her an "I," or an different from all other bodies. When Tereza first sleeps with Tomas she thinks that she has found the man who will separate her soul and body, but as soon as she is introduced to his womanizing she decides that he does not see her as an "I." This is not the case, because I believe, through the text of the book, that Tomas does see Tereza as an individual body. Also to mention that he loves Tereza and allows her to break his strict rules for sleeping around by allowing her to sleep next to him, making her more special than the other women.

4 comments:

Madison Cummings said...

I agree! I think that Tomas and Tereza understand sex differently, and this difference of opinion is the root of her misunderstanding. While Tereza believes that sex is linked with love, Tomas looks at it merely as a physical act. I think this is why Tereza finds it so hard to understand the fact that Tomas sees her as an individual, or “I”. She does not understand that Tomas only loves her, and views being physical with other girls purely as a hobby, or past time. Tereza tried to see things from Tomas’s viewpoint when she slept with the engineer, but couldn’t separate her soul from the act. I don’t think that either character has the ability to understand the other on this topic, because these beliefs are part of their own fixed moral codes.
These beliefs are a vital part of each character, because their personalities stem from these beliefs. If this core belief of Tereza’s changed, she would no longer have the ability to reinforce her and Tomas’s relationship, and it would have never lasted as long as it did. Usually a misunderstanding such as this would be bad for a couple, but in this instance, I believe it is what kept them together.

Belin Manalle said...

In Tereza's defense, I would not feel very special to someone who sleeps around with a bunch of other women. Tereza already has confidence issues with her body which is part of the reason that she specifically looks for her soul through her body as she stares in the mirror. Tomas can say anything he wants to but when it comes down to it actions speak so much louder than words. The fact that he can sleep with so many other women when he claims to love Tereza just doesn't add up. Also him finding something unique in all of these women makes it even worse because it is as if he gains more of a connection with each of them as opposed to meaningless sex. Tereza wants to be the only woman that he finds strikingly unique in a sense.

Abbey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abbey said...

I agree with this COMPLETELY. Whether or not Tereza wants to believe it, she does have definitive characteristics that distinguish her from the other women Tomas sees. She is the only woman in the book (that we know of) whom Tomas sleeps with who is very insecure and more concerned with the issues of her body. This alone makes her even more different than everyone else. I also agree with Belin on the fact that Tereza doesn't necessarily feel special because she isn't the only woman in Tomas's life; but, Tomas really does love Tereza and he is emotionally faithful to her- unlike he is with other women. Though Tereza isn't wrong for feeling neglected, she is wrong for believing she is not an individual to Tomas. While it sounds kind of negative, Tereza's unique quality is her insecurity, but on the more positive side, her unique quality is the fact that she has the ability to make Tomas fall in love.