an American fighting with Spanish Loyalists
Jordan’s elderly guerilla guide
Pablo, a drunken
strong and commanding wife
another guerilla leader
Rafael, a gypsy
member of Pablo’s band
the young American, could think of nothing but the bridge as he and
his seasoned guide Anselmo hiked through the mountains behind Fascist
lines. Golz, one of many Russians also working for the Loyalist
forces in their civil war with the Fascists for control of Spain,
explained the importance ot Jordan’s mission. Golz was organizing a
major offensive against the enemy. To protect is troops from
reinforcements sent up after the attack commenced, Golz needed the
strategic bridge destroyed: “[Do it] as soon as the attack has
started and not before. I must know that bridge is gone.”
Anselmo worked their way u p the mountains where the bridge was
located. The plan was for Jordan to make contact with a guerilla band
led by Pablo and his devoted, fierce, and swarthy wife, Pilar. After
taking a few days to examine the bridge and organize the attack, he
would wait for the proper moment to blow it up.
Though he had
destroyed other bridges, and trains as well, Jordan was apprehensive
about this mission. He felt even worse when he made contact with
Pablo’s band. The guerilla leader was surly and insecure; he
demanded to know what Jordan intended to do: “If it is in this
territory, it is my business.” Jordan quickly changed the subject.
Jordan stayed at the guerrilla’s cave hideout with Pitar, Rafael
the gypsy, six other guerrillas, and Maria, a young girl who had been
rescued from the Fascists. Jordan asked Pilar if more guerrillas
could be rounded up for the attack on the heavily guarded bridge. She
said that she would enlist the help of a band of six or seven
mountain men, led by the reclusive but proficient El Sordo. However,
the attack would be very dangerous, and afterwards the entire band
would have to abandon their mountain camps.
Pablo was drunk
earlier than usual that evening. He criticized Jordan’s plans and
told everyone in the cave that the mission would fail. But Pilar
stepped in and ushered Jordan outside for a breath of air. The gypsy,
Rafael, quickly followed. “Three or four times we waited for you to
kill him. Pablo has no friends,” Rafael declared. Although the idea
of killing Pablo had in fact flashed across Jordan’s mind, he had
restrained himself: “For a stranger to kill where he must work with
the people afterwards is very bad.”
For weeks all of
Jordan’s thoughts had centered on his mission. Now, however, all
throughout the evening’s tension-filled dinner, it was not Pablo or
the bridge that occupied his mind, but Maria. The two flirted,
sneaking glances and sly touches back and forth. Later, when Jordan
bedded down outside beneath the stars – along with the dynamite,
which no one wanted in the cave – Maria came to him, torn between
hope and reluctance. Among the Fascists she had been subjected to
starvation, torture and rape, and she believed that no one could love
a defiled woman. But Jordan persuaded her to slide into his sleeping
bag next to him, and they became lovers. And Jordan, who had lived
until then mainly for the ceremony of risking his life, now knew
that, though he would still fight for the cause, he no longer wished
to court death; he wanted to live – for Maria.
The next day,
Pilar, Jordan and Maria paid a visit to El Sordo’s camp. Along the
way Pilar spoke of how the war had begun in her native village. Pablo
had led the attack on the local , “civilia guardia,” trapped in
their barracks. After killing the soldiers, Pablo and his rebels
gathered Fascist party members into the town hall. There, one by one,
they were forced to run through a gauntlet formed by the townspeople,
who beat them with shovels and rakes. To Robert Jordan, it was a
horrible, disgusting story.
At the camp, El
Sordo agreed to help with the mission to blow up the bridge, and
assured that he could secure horses for the ensuing escape.it was
snowing heavily when they returned to their own camp. The snow was a
bad omen. Jordan grimly acknowledged that it could ruin the entire
mission. Pablo, on the other hand, was elated. He baited Jordan:
“With this thy offensive goes, Ingles.” But Jordan walked away
from the guerilla’s taunting. He couldn’t risk muddling the
mission with internal violence.
day, Pablo had sent Anselmo down near the bridge to watch the road
and spy out the sentry positions. The storm was now in full force and
Anselmo had not returned, so Jordan trekked to the bridge. There he
found the old man at his post, still waiting and watching.
When Jordan and
Anselmo returned to the cave, they found Pablo, “bleary-eyed
drunk.” While they ate, Pablo again tried to provoke Jordan into a
fight. One of the other men punched Pablo in the face, but Pablo only
In the early
light of morning, Jordan spied, and shot, an approaching Fascist
cavalryman. Quickly he directed Pablo to lead the dead man’s horse
away from the camp while another man quickly hid the body. Next he
ordered a large machine gun to be placed and camouflaged above the
camp. Jordan figured the horseman must be part of a patrol searching
for El Sordo, who had stolen horses the night before.
After a short
time, four more cavalrymen passed – unmolested – below. “We
could have killed all four,” the gunner protested. “But with the
firing who knows what might have come?” Jordan replied. And as he
had surmised, twenty more soldiers soon followed in their wake.
Later, when they heard the attack on El Sordo’s camp, some of
Pablo’s men wanted to go to their aid. But Jordan said it would be
useless. And no matter what the cost, the bridge had to come first.
was right. For hours El Sordo’s men fought valiantly. But when
ti-ie Fascist bombers arrived, El Sordo and his band were
slaughtered, and the Fascist officer ordered all the dead guerrillas
beheaded to serve as a warning to other rebels.
Now, without El
Sordo’s men, Jordan knew the attack on the bridge would be almost
impossible. Still, they watched the roads, as Fascist tanks, troops
and trucks crossed over the bridge.
That night as
Jordan slept, Pablo stole and destroyed the exploder, detonator and
blasting caps from Jordan’s pack, then disappeared. When Pilar woke
Jordan to tell him this news, his stomach felt “hollow.” They
would now have to set off the dynamite using grenades – a much more
Jordan and the others prepared for the operation. Most would divide
and attack two Fascist flank posts, while Jordan and Anselmo killed
the guards on the bridge and set the dynamite. Just as all was
readied, Pablo appeared with five other men to join them. Jordan had
mixed feelings about Pablo’s return, but decided that any
reinforcements were better than nothing.
set; everyone was in position. Now they must wait for the aerial
bombardment to signal the beginning of tl-ie offensive. To Jordan it
seemed that it would never come, “that nothing could happen on such
a lovely late May morning.” Suddenly they heard “clustered,
thudding of the bombs,” and Jordan and Anselmo opened fire on the
two guards. As Jordan wired the bridge, the few minutes seemed like
an eternity. Finally he was able to pull the pins and the bridge was
blown high into the air. But in the explosion, Anselmo, a sensitive
man who had always hated killing, was killed himself by a steel
fragment. Jordan tearfully cursed Pablo; the old man might still be
alive had Pablo not stolen the blasting caps.
Jordan raced to
the designated meeting place to regroup. Crouched in the pines, he
found only Pablo, Pilar, Maria and two other gypsy insurgents. Pablo
was leading a dozen horses. Though Pablo claimed at first that the
other guerrillas had been killed by Fascists, Jordan forced Pablo to
admit that he himself had slaughtered them to get their horses.
were now hemmed in by Fascist troops and tanks. They needed to cross
a road that led to safety, knowing full well that the Fascists would
strafe the road with bullets once they were alerted. Jordan chose to
cross last. As he made his move, a tank fired a shell, trapping him
beneath his wounded horse. The others dragged him out of the line of
fire, but Jordan knew his leg was hopelessly crushed. Maria knelt
near him and sobbed. Jordan voiced his love for her, and though she
begged to stay with him, he assured her that as long as she was
alive, he would live too. Finally the others wrestled her away from
him so they could leave.
his submachine gun and waited. He pondered the events that had
brought him there to die. He would not, however, die in vain. The
fight of the common people was his fight; someday they would win, and
hopefully struggle for peace as tenaciously as they strained for
freedom. Jordan smiled, took aim at the leading Fascist officer who
had come into view, and squeezed the trigger.
worked as a reporter covering the Spanish Civil War. For Whom the
Bell Tolls was the most famous book to come out of that war, which
served as a prelude to the devastation of World War 11 in which the
free world united against Fascism. Perhaps overly romanticized, at
the same time the novel illustrates humanity’s great capacity for
either hope or despair, as shown by the contrast between the devoted
Anselmo and the brutish Pablo.
though translated from formal Spanish, the novel evokes a realistic
mood. The title was taken from a quote by John Donne: “… Any
man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And
therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for
... they pair & repair), and how each of these characters chooses to ... with them on the French Riviera in thesummer of 1926. “The arrangement has ... than Pilar in ”ForWhomtheBellTolls,” or Brett Ashley in ”The Sun Also Rises ...
Ernest Hemmingway Essay, Research Paper Ernest ... Michigan in thesummer. Grace evicts Ernest from the family summer home shortly ... if they really love each other she would divorce ... also Rises (1926) and the last is ForwhomtheBellTolls (1940). A Farewell to ...
Hemingway 2 Essay, Research Paper Ernest Hemingway s tough, ... these are Death in the Afternoon and The Dangerous Summer. Quickly after Patrick ... the novel ForWhomtheBellTolls. 5. In 1950 Ernest wrote the novel Across the River and into the ...
... ”; “ForWhomtheBellTolls”; “Ulysses”, “Vanity Fair”. d) Try to anticipate the plot judging by the title. E.g. «The ... foreach other; they were made foreach other, sent into the world foreach other, born foreach ...
Metallica Essay, Research Paper Like ... been ForWhomtheBellTolls and Fade to Black. ForWhomtheBellTolls, named after the famous ... and the band was one of the top attractions on that summer’s ... the road making new friends. Making better music with each ...