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Betrayal in the Novel

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message 1: by Mima (new) - added it

Mima I would like to know what you think about the theme of betrayal in the novel. I understand that betrayal for Sabina is a means of freedom, but it is also at times followed by guilt. She feels guilt and regret at times because of her betrayals. I wonder of the betrayal of Tereza and Tomas.


Sandra Luna It's interesting that I can't think of Sabina like that. I can't remember her feeling guilty, but again, it's been a while since I read the book. The one that I still vividly recall is Tereza's. I have this sentence in my head of the definition of flirt. I hope I'm quoting it correctly or at least, this is how I remember what I read: "Flirt is the promise of a sexual relationship" and this is what I think she tries to do, to experience what it was that made Thomas cheat on her. Or maybe this is just an extremely simplistic way of looking at things.


message 3: by Bookcase Jim (last edited Oct 02, 2013 05:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bookcase Jim "Betrayal is breaking ranks." In other words, it's stepping away from the comfort zone imposed by society and taking a risk in order to experience the unknown. Sabina did it willingly, as if it was a compulsion. For Tomas it was similar, but Franz and Tereza were dreamers and their version of 'betrayal' was much more idealistic.

Tereza realizes, late in the book, that her betrayal is in wishing Tomas were as vulnerable as she is, while his betrayal is the pursuit of other women. In a sense, Tereza's 'betrayal' is the more dramatic. While Tomas says he's happy in the countryside, he did leave a career he loved behind and a great opportunity in Zurich in exchange for Tereza. Furthermore, the countryside is the place where they both die prematurely. One might argue that Tereza's betrayal killed Tomas, in real life, while Tomas' betrayal only ever killed Tereza in her dreams.


Ilka Bookcasejim wrote: ""Betrayal is breaking ranks." In other words, it's stepping away from the comfort zone imposed by society and taking a risk in order to experience the unknown. Sabina did it willingly, as if it was..."

I totally agree. When I read the book I sometimes wondered why are Tereza and Tomas together. He really is losing a lot being with her – firstly, his freedom to be with other women and his lifestyle altogether, then the life in Zurich and finally the life in Prague which wasn't so happy but still. Sabina and Tomas are stronger individuals than Tereza and Franz. I would rather call them the "real" dreamers and not Tereza and Franz, because they are the ones who live by different rules (Tomas and the letter for example) and aren't affected by the monogamous model of nowadays relationships in their minds. For me Tereza and Franz felt childish-like lots of times. They are dreamers, too but in a naive, idealistic way.


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