Study Guide

Joaquin in For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Ernest Hemingway


Joaquin is a teenage boy in El Sordo's group, and the only person in the group besides El Sordo that we know by name (as well as the only Communist we know of in either band). In happier, younger days, he wanted to be a bullfighter, but was too scared when it all came down to it. Almost all of his family was massacred by the fascists, which has left him with a deep sadness. It seems he has a bit of a crush on Maria, and is a little scared of Pilar. Joaquin buys wholeheartedly into the slogans and propaganda of the Communists, particularly La Pasionaria, which he says to bolster his own courage in the last battle. However, as the bombs fall, he drops the slogans and goes back to the Hail Marys he learned childhood.

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