Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 37

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 37

  • Robert Jordan's still in the robe with the sleeping Maria, watching the time go by on his watch.
  • He holds Maria and starts running his lips over her head and neck. They kiss, and Maria kisses him so intensely that it's clear she wants to do much more than kiss.
  • He asks her about the pain, and she says there is none. She also tells him not to speak.
  • Once more, the ecstasy of sex leads to Robert Jordan repeating the same word over and over again in a nonsensical never-ending sentence. This time, it's "now," as in "Come now, now, for there is no now but now." Total number of "now"s in the sex paragraph: 39.
  • He does a little riff on "one" too, based on an inexcusable error in basic arithmetic: "one and one is one, is one, is one, is one, is still one..." and so on.
  • "Afterwards," Robert Jordan thanks Maria, and they lie together, both happy for being so lucky (in multiple senses). Maria refers to their sexual experiences as "la Gloria." Robert Jordan likes that.
  • He thinks once more how much there is for him to learn. He has only just begun to realize this. He has learned so much since coming upon Pablo's band that he feels as if he has spent all his life there. Anselmo, AgustĂ­n, and Maria feel like family now, a family he never had.
  • They get dressed, and Maria rolls up the sleeping robe. They head to the cave to eat. It's ten minutes to three, by Robert Jordan's watch.