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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls


by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls The Supernatural Quotes

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

Quote #1

"Let me see thy hand," the woman said. Robert Jordan put his hand out and the woman opened it, held it in her own big hand, rubbed her thumb over it and looked at it, carefully, then dropped it. She stood up. He got up too and she looked at him without smiling.

"What did you see in it?" Robert Jordan asked her. "I don't believe in it. You won't scare me."

"Nothing," she told him. "I saw nothing in it."

"Yes you did. I am only curious. I do not believe in such things." (2.233-236)

The fateful moment when Pilar first sees a bad fate for Robert Jordan in his hand. This episode starts off the supernatural thread of the book, and also foreshadows Robert Jordan's death (though, like Robert Jordan, it's up to us whether we take it seriously). Although Robert Jordan says he doesn't believe in it, is he being fully honest? Would he be so curious if he weren't at least somewhat open to the possibility that it might be real?

Quote #2

You do not run onto something like that. Such things don't happen. Maybe it never did happen, he thought. Maybe you dreamed it or made it up and it never did happen. (11.85)

Such things don't happen. Robert Jordan is treating his love with Maria as something almost supernatural. More on that in a moment…

Quote #3

"Yes," Pilar said. "I lie. It never moves more than three times in a lifetime. Did it really move?"

"Yes," the girl said. "Truly." (13.185-189)

This is the next spot in the book where the supernatural rears its head. Robert Jordan and Maria have just experienced something very strange while having sex – the "earth moved." If their first night together seemed supernatural, this just blew it out of the water. Pilar is very eager to pry into what their sex was like, almost as if she knows something happened. Once she's told what happens, Pilar is evidently familiar with it, and makes it into something supernatural (it only happens three times, yadda yadda). Given that Robert Jordan and Maria don't seem to have much of a clue what's going on with themselves, there might be an extra incentive to take seriously somebody who claims to.

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