Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 36

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 36

  • Andrés is now at a post – a makeshift rock and earth parapet – on the Republican line. There's a whole mess of wire in front of him.
  • He shouts out, and tells the sentries (whom he can't yet see) not to shoot. He tells them he is alone, and a member of Pablo's guerilla band.
  • The sentries are not convinced. They don't seem to believe he's alone, and they call him a fascist. One of them suggests they should just throw a bomb at him.
  • Andrés tries to get through the wire to approach the post, which is hard, as he's been told to keep his hands above his head holding his rifle. The sentries argue among themselves. One still wants to throw a bomb at him.
  • Figuring out that the bomb enthusiast is an anarchist, Andrés shouts the anarchist slogan "Viva la Libertad," which wins him over instantly. When Andrés reaches the parapet, the man kisses him.
  • Andrés meets the officer in command, and hands over the papers Robert Jordan had given him. Not quite satisfied, the officer asks to know where he was born, and demands that he prove he grew up there by describing some local old man. He does.
  • Now somewhat more satisfied, the officer asks him how things are going, and starts rambling on about how guerillas should just join the army. Andrés tells him they need to get moving.
  • The officer, still not convinced they shouldn't have shot Andrés, takes him to the commander. Andrés notices as he walks that the anarchists just go to the bathroom right there in the open and do not bury their excrement. He is disgusted.
  • (This also marks the second time a chapter on Andrés has ended with thoughts about excrement.)