Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 6

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 6

  • Robert Jordan is back in the cave, where Pilar and Maria are doing the dishes.
  • El Sordo has not come, which is odd. Pilar says they must go to see him tomorrow. Maria wants to go too.
  • Pilar asks Robert Jordan how he finds Maria. She's just guh-reat! Beautiful and intelligent, he says. (About the latter, Maria giggles and Pilar shakes her head).
  • They share some jokes. Apparently Robert Jordan's too much of a stiff to appreciate jokes at the expense of the Republic, whereas Pilar is happy to compare the colors of its flag to less-than-pleasant bodily fluids.
  • Maria asks if Robert Jordan is a communist, and he responds that he is not; he is an anti-fascist and a Republican. Pilar is also a Republican.
  • Maria's father was killed for being a Republican, she says. Robert Jordan notes that his father was too, and his grandfather was on the Republican National Committee. When Maria asks if his father was also killed for being a Republican, he responds that he killed himself, to "avoid being tortured." Maria wishes her father had that opportunity.
  • Robert Jordan asks to change the subject, but Maria, amazed at how much they have in common, excitedly exclaims that she and Robert Jordan are "the same."
  • Robert Jordan caresses her head and, when she asks him to repeat it, he promises to do it later.
  • Asking Maria to leave, Robert Jordan talks to Pilar. He asks whether Rafael was right in what he said.
  • Before he can even get out what Rafael actually said, Pilar says that he was not, and that he, Robert Jordan, had judged correctly.
  • When he asks about whether "it" might need to be done in the future, Pilar promises it will not.
  • Robert Jordan goes to sleep outside, Pilar having agreed to sleep with his packs (of dynamite).