For Whom the Bell Tolls
Duty Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
Tomorrow night they would be outside the Escorial in the dark along the road; the long lines of trucks loading the infantry in the darkness; the men, heavy loaded, climbing up into the trucks; the machine-gun sections lifting their guns into the trucks; the tanks being run up on the skids onto the long-bodied tank trucks; pulling the Division out to move them in the night for the attack on the pass. He would not think about that. That was not his business. That was Golz's business. He had only one thing to do and that was what he should think about and he must think it out clearly and take everything as it came along, and not to worry. To worry was as bad as to be afraid. It simply made things more difficult. (1.105)
When we first meet him, Robert Jordan is only concerned with performing his duty as a soldier in the Republican military effort. He judges everything by whether it helps him perform his duty or not. Thinking about things other than his particular mission, and worrying, do not help him perform his duty. It's as if he wants to be little more than a cog in the military operation.
"It should be of the highest interest," Anselmo said and hearing him say it honestly and clearly and with no pose, neither the English pose of understatement nor any Latin bravado, Robert Jordan thought he was very lucky to have this old man and having seen the bridge and worked out and simplified the problem it would have been to surprise the posts and blow it in a normal way, he resented Golz's orders, and the necessity for them. He resented them for what they could do to him and for what they could do to this old man. They were bad orders all right for those who would have to carry them out.
And that is not the way to think, he told himself, and there is not you, and there are no people that things must not happen to. Neither you nor this old man is anything. You are instruments to do your duty. (3.103-104)
Robert Jordan begins to feel the first twinges of a conflict with his sense of duty. He's started to care for Anselmo and doesn't want to put him in harm's way, as the bridge operation requires him to do. So he resents his orders. But notice how quickly he suppresses that feeling, and affirms that he and Anselmo are nothing but things to be used to accomplish duty.
"And you have no fear?"
"Not to die," he said truly.
"But other fears?"
"Only of not doing my duty as I should." (9.75-78)
Another window into the dull and duty-bound mind of Robert Jordan. If you're still not convinced that Robert Jordan really doesn't care about himself, or have a sense of self to speak of, this one should do the trick.