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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

by Ernest Hemingway

Love Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Now as they lay all that before had been shielded was unshielded. Where there had been roughness of fabric all was smooth with a smoothness and firm rounded pressing and a long warm coolness, cool outside and warm within, long and light and closely holding, closely held, lonely, hollow-making with contours, happy-making, young and loving and now all warmly smooth with a hollowing, chest-aching, tight-held loneliness that was such that Robert Jordan felt he could not stand it and he said, "Hast thou loved others?" (7.37)

This is the moment where the barriers come down for the first time. Robert Jordan is bowled over by intense emotion. Interesting that, in the midst of this pleasant entanglement of limbs, he feels lonely. It's presumably that which prompts him to ask whether Maria's been with other men, as if it would detract from his experience with her if she has. (Her answer is no, just in case you didn't see that one coming.)

Quote #5

You do not run onto something like that. Such things don't happen. Maybe it never did happen, he thought. Maybe you dreamed it or made it up and it never did happen. (11.85)

The experience of love is so new and powerful for Robert Jordan that he has difficulty convincing himself it wasn't all a dream. Something about it seems too magical to be real. Certainly in comparison to the dull, duty-bound world he lived in before. He shortly convinces himself it did happen by touching Maria and getting a smile out of her.

Quote #6

For him it was a dark passage which led to nowhere, then to nowhere, then again to nowhere, once again to nowhere, always and forever to nowhere, heavy on the elbows in the earth to nowhere, dark, never any end to nowhere, this time and again for always to nowhere, now not to be borne once again always and to nowhere, now beyond all bearing up, up, up and into nowhere, suddenly, scaldingly, holdingly all nowhere gone and time absolutely still and they were both there, time having stopped and he felt the earth move out and away from under them. (13. 8)

It's that passage that leads to nowhere. This is what Hemingway gives us the second time Robert Jordan and Maria have sex, that time the earth moves (and they make a big deal out of that). If you did want to write about an orgasm in 1940, it's not clear what options you had if you didn't want your book labeled "porno" (like A Farewell to Arms was – check out the "Sex Rating" in Shmoop's guide to http://www.shmoop.com/did-you-know/literature/ernest-hemingway/a-farewell-to-arms/sex-rating.html).

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