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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

by Ernest Hemingway

Men and Masculinity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"I will learn from Pilar what I should do to take care of a man well and those things I will do," Maria said. "Then, as I learn, I will discover things for myself and other things you can tell me." (13.95)

Ugh! Maria is playing the totally servile female to her "man" Robert Jordan here. And no one seems to have a problem with this (including Hemingway?)

Quote #2

"Surely," Robert Jordan said. But oh boy, he thought, oh Pablo, oh Pilar, oh Maria, oh you two brothers in the corner whose names I've forgotten and must remember, but I get tired of it sometimes. Of it and of you and of me and of the war and why in all why did it have to snow now? That's too bloody much. No, it's not. Nothing is too bloody much. You just have to take it and fight out of it and now stop prima-donnaing and accept the fact that it is snowing as you did a moment ago and the next thing is to check with your gypsy and pick up your old man. But to snow! Now in this month. Cut it out, he said to himself. Cut it out and take it. (14.59)

Cut it out and take it…that's basically what defines a real man a la Hemingway, isn't it? You've got to take it like it is ("take it straight"), and nothing's supposed to be too much to take. This is one of the first places we see Robert Jordan seriously lose his cool and have to try to live by that rule.

Quote #3

"Of course he was tubercular," Pilar said, standing there with the big wooden stirring spoon in her hand. He was short of stature and he had a thin voice and much fear of bulls. Never have I seen a man with more fear before the bullfight and never have I seen a man with less fear in the ring. "You," she said to Pablo. "You are afraid to die now. You think that is something of importance. But Finito was afraid all the time and in the ring he was like a lion." (14.82)

Here Pilar's expressing her own ideal of a man: not somebody who doesn't feel fear, but somebody who feels fear intensely, yet is able to overcome it and perform as if it weren't there. More generally, too, she admires the way Finito overcame his other limitations, his height and his sickliness.

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