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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls


by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls Foreignness and 'The Other' Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"That I am a foreigner is not my fault. I would rather have been born here." (1.202)

You can't find a much clearer testimony than that to how much Robert Jordan loves and identifies with Spain. He wishes he were Spanish, as he tells Pablo early on to boost his cred.

Quote #2

"Thank you," Anselmo said to her and Robert Jordan realized suddenly that he and the girl were not alone and he realized too that it was hard for him to look at her because it made his voice change so. He was violating the second rule of the two rules for getting on well with people that speak Spanish; give the men tobacco and leave the women alone; and he realized, very suddenly, that he did not care. (2.98)

A short but revealing comment about Spanish machismo culture, and the way in which Spanish men tend to keep a hold on their women. Maria's approach of Robert Jordan is all the more striking in light of that. Robert Jordan apparently feels like enough of an insider to break that rule.

Quote #3

If it is true, as the gypsy says, that they expected me to kill Pablo then I should have done that. But it was never clear to me that they did expect that. For a stranger to kill where he must work with the people afterwards is very bad. (5.67)

Although not a comment on Robert Jordan's literal foreignness, this does reveal the way in which he feels like an outsider to the new group he's just met. They already have well established relationships, and he's just shown up. He doesn't yet know how to read them, or what it is he's actually expected to do.

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