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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

by Ernest Hemingway

Friendship Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"To me, now, the most important is that we be not disturbed here," Pablo said. "To me, now, my duty is to those who are with me and to myself."

"Thyself. Yes," Anselmo said. "Thyself now since a long time. Thyself and thy horses. Until thou hadst horses thou wert with us. Now thou art another capitalist more." (1.203-204)

Right after meeting Pablo, it's clear there are tensions within his band. He claims to be interested in protecting them, as well as himself. Anselmo disagrees, and thinks he's purely self-interested. Who's right? For much of the book, it's hard to tell. Something else: Anselmo's criticism of Pablo has a strong political (communist) edge to it. Because Pablo has become interested in his own property (making him a "capitalist"), he's turned against his friends and community.

Quote #2

"There is the day also," the woman said. "You have the night, but there is the day, too. Clearly, there is no such luxury as in Valencia in my time. But you could pick a few wild strawberries or something." She laughed.

Robert Jordan put his arm on her big shoulder. "I care for thee, too," he said. "I care for thee very much."

"Thou art a regular Don Juan Tenorio," the woman said, embarrassed now with affection. "There is a commencement of caring for everyone." (9.106-8)

Robert Jordan has already begun to feel a surprisingly strong attachment to Maria. But just as quickly as he's growing close to her he's forming bonds with some of the other members of the band, like Pilar. He says the exact same thing to Pilar ("I care for thee very much") that he'd said only a little earlier about Maria, having savored those words when he'd first thought them. It's as if he's not used to caring for people or something. Pilar's remark that "There is a commencement of caring for everyone" is oddly suitable. All at once, Robert Jordan has started to care for everyone.

Quote #3

"I un-name in the milk of their motors," Agustín said, nodding his head and biting his lip.

"That's something," Pilar said. "That is really something. But really difficult of execution."

"At that altitude, yes," Agustín grinned. "Desde luego. But it is better to joke."

"Yes," the woman of Pablo said. "It is much better to joke, and you are a good man and you joke with force." (9.132-135)

Pretty colorful language there, Agustín. Swearing is an important form of humor for most of the guerilla band – it seems it's a well-deployed curse that most often brings out a laugh or a smile in the characters. It's of the ways in which they bond and experience camaraderie, keeping their spirits up. Both Pilar and Agustín think it's essential to preserve a sense of the comic in the otherwise depressing reality of war.

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