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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls


by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls Love Quotes

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

Quote #1

"You better not have any sometimes on this bridge. No, let us not talk any more about this bridge. You understand enough now about the bridge. We are very serious so we can make very strong jokes. Look, do you have many girls on the other side of the lines?"

"No, there is no time for girls."

"I do not agree. The more irregular the service, the more irregular the life. You have very irregular service. Also you need a haircut." (1.94-96)

Robert Jordan doesn't exactly start out looking for love. He doesn't want to worry about women. Boy is he in for a surprise. Golz isn't really urging him to look for love. For Golz, women (he refers to them in the plural) are just a distraction to keep one sane in war, probably kind of like food: one has a desire for sex, and needs to satisfy it every so often. With Maria Robert Jordan will find something very different.

Quote #2

She sat down opposite him and looked at him. He looked back at her and she smiled and folded her hands together over her knees. Her legs slanted long and clean from the open cuffs of the trousers as she sat with her hands across her knees and he could see the shape of her small up-tilted breasts under the gray shirt. Every time Robert Jordan looked at her could feel a thickness in his throat. (2.73)

No sooner does he meet Maria than Robert Jordan feels "funny" about her. What he's feeling seems to be almost entirely physical: he's attracted to Maria's physical appearance, and he himself is responding bodily (that thickness in the throat). It's striking how immediate, and powerful, the attraction is. But is there anything here to suggest "love"?

Quote #3

"Then you and me we are the same," Maria said. She put her hand on his arm and looked in his face. He looked at her brown face and at the eyes that, since he had seen them, had never been as young as the rest of her face but that now were suddenly hungry and young and wanting. (6.45)

This is the moment when it first dawns on Maria that she is "the same" as Robert Jordan, which is presumably what leads her to decide to sleep with him that night and convinces her that she wants to "be his woman." It's kind of hard to figure out exactly how she realizes this, since what seems to prompt her to this realization is small talk about how their dads died.

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