For Whom the Bell Tolls
How we cite our quotes:
"Maria, I love thee and thou art so lovely and so wonderful and so beautiful and it does such things to me to be with thee that I feel as though I wanted to die when I am loving thee."
"Oh," she said. "I die each time. Do you not die?" (13.13-14)
Love and death. The two things that make any novel exciting, and they're tied together here. Come on, guys, we want more. What does it mean that you "die" each time?
"Now, feel. I am thee and thou art me and all of one is the other. And I love thee, oh, I love thee so. Are you not truly one? Canst thou not feel it?"
"Yes," he said, "it is true."
"And feel now. Thou hast no heart but mine."
"Nor any other legs, nor feet, nor of the body."
"But we are different," she said. "I would have us exactly the same."
"You do not mean that." (20.66-71)
Robert Jordan and Maria both feel that in some way they have fused into the same person, and are no longer separate from each other. This is the deep, profound truth which their relationship reveals, and of course it plays an important role at the end. We think it's interesting that Maria wishes they were exactly the same, though, while Robert Jordan wants them to remain different. She wants to be him, he wants to enjoy her, maybe? Hmmm…
"I love thee as I love all that we have fought for. I love thee as I love liberty and dignity and the rights of all men to work and not to be hungry." (31.96)
Maria now means to Robert Jordan as much as his cause and all the higher ideals he believes in. This creates a tension was not there before in his singular devotion to duty and his casual willingness to sacrifice himself. He's come a long way real fast. So much for not having time for girls.