For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
When you get through with this war you might take up the study of women, he said to himself. You could start with Pilar. She has put in a pretty complicated day, if you ask me. She never brought in the gypsy stuff before. Except the hand, he thought. Yes, of course the hand. And I don't think she was faking about the hand. She wouldn't tell me what she saw, of course. Whatever she saw she believed in herself. But that proves nothing.
Pilar's status as "medium" of the supernatural is connected here to two aspects of her identity: she's part gypsy, and she's a woman. Is there something more "womanly" about believing in the supernatural? Robert Jordan also raises the question of whether she might be using her supposed knowledge of the supernatural to gain power over him and Maria, though he seems to take her original reading of the hand seriously.
"Sure," Pilar said to him, looking at the sky. "It will snow."
"Now? Almost in June?"
"Why not? These mountains do not know the names of the months. We are in the moon of May."
"It can't be snow," he said. "It can't snow."
"Just the same, Ingles," she said to him, "it will snow." (13.219-223)
Pilar's prediction of the snow, if not "supernatural" (snow is a natural phenomenon), does suggest that she's unusually aware. You might say the snow itself suggests that the very out of the ordinary (snowing in late May) can be quite real. This is one moment at which Pilar gains points with Robert Jordan (and the reader), so far as taking her seriously is concerned. It's also worth noting that it's Pilar, at the end of Chapter Twenty, who asks whether the snow has stopped, leading Robert Jordan to go outside and discover that it has. It's almost as if she knew it would…Also, kind of nifty – Pilar's sense that the snow storm of ended of the snow occurs right after the big conversation about the supernatural, as if to book end it.
"Seeing bad signs, one, with fear, imagines an end for himself and one thinks that imagining comes by divination," Robert Jordan concluded. "I believe there is nothing more to it than that. I do not believe in ogres, nor soothsayers, nor in the supernatural things." (19.27)
Robert Jordan doesn't believe in "seeing one's fate," or in fate. He's staunchly opposed to the supernatural, as he tells the other members of the band. It's just something one imagines. This follows from that "taking it straight" attitude he has.