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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

by Ernest Hemingway

Politics Quotes

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Quote #10

Karkov went over to him and the man said, "I only have it now. Not ten minutes ago. It is wonderful. All day the fascists have been fighting among themselves near Segovia. They have been forced to quell the mutinies with automatic rifle and machine gun fire. In the afternoon they were bombing their own troops with planes."

"Yes?" asked Karkov.

"That is true," the puffy-eyed man said. "Dolores brought the news herself. She was here with the news and was in such a state of radiant exultation as I have never seen. The truth of the news shone from her face. That great face – " he said happily.

"That great face," Karkov said with no tone in his voice at all. (32.15-19)

There's something a bit revolting about being "puffy-eyed," which is as close to a name as this fellow gets. We're obviously not meant to like him. Or the subject of this conversation, Dolores, La Pasionaria, the famous radical orator for the Republican cause. Hemingway feels the way Karkov does: cynical and unimpressed. Dolores appears to be either deceitful or stupid enough to peddle complete misreadings of the facts and giving them a workover to make them "inspiring." Like here, where she interprets the bombing of El Sordo as the fascists fighting among themselves (this might have been a likely guess applied to the Republicans, actually, but not so much the fascists).

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