Anselmo is waiting by the road in the freezing cold. He debates returning to camp, as he knows Jordan will understand his motivations, but his loyalty wins out and he remains on duty. While he observes a car pass and the activity of the Fascist soldiers in the sawmill next to the bridge, he thinks about his own revolutionary past in the early days of Pablo's band. He never had to kill a man, and he hopes it will not be necessary to complete the bridge mission. When Jordan and Fernando finally reach Anselmo, Jordan thinks about how remarkable it is that Anselmo weathered the storm to obey his orders. He is sure that Anselmo would not run in battle and is encouraged to have him by his side for the bridge offensive. Jordan also thinks that, despite his lighthearted manner, Fernando too would not desert.
This chapter lets the reader enter the mind of Anselmo, the only truly noble character in the novel. Anselmo obeys orders he questions in the name of honor, and professes a hatred of killing. He is truly humane, as he spies on the Fascist soldiers he reaffirms his belief that the two sides are made up of the same men.
Anselmo's great connection to nature is displayed in his manner of speaking, as he uses many animal metaphors to convey his thoughts. When comparing the past bravery of Pablo with the broken man of the present, for example, Anselmo calls him "ended as a boar that has been altered." This metaphor for Pablo's loss of virility explains his inability to lead the men nor dominate Pilar. Anselmo reveals his true goodness by not being able to hate Pablo, as everyone assumes he should: "he is not that badone can think too badly of Pablo. But he is ugly enough and changed enough."
Once again, Hemingway uses the storm as a metaphor for the force of warfare; by weathering the storm, Anselmo has proved his courage to face any other form of violence. Jordan internally praises Anselmo: "It's not for nothing that the Germans call an attack a storm." This statement is ironic though, considering that Anselmo's actions are not motivated by a soldier's stamina, but by his sense of honor. It is a bitter commentary on the cruelty of warfare when the one who has the courage to risk his life is the one who truly values the life in all human beings.
When Jordan returns to the cave, Maria flutters about him and helps him dry himself by the fire, much to Pilar's contempt. Pilar tells Robert Jordan that El Sordo stopped by the camp and has gone to find more horses. When Maria brings Jordan his dinner, he asks her to eat with him and says that in his country men do not eat before the women. Pablo begins to insult Jordan, telling Maria to "eat with him. Drink with him. Sleep with him. Die with him. Follow the customs of his country."
Jordan tries to take this opportunity to provoke Pablo into a confrontation so that he might kill him without assassinating him. Pablo refuses to fight, even when Agustin joins in and hits him in the face. Agustin asks him, however, to speak his thoughts, and Pablo says "I have thought you are a group of illusioned peopleled by a woman with her brains between her thighs and a foreigner who comes to destroy you."
Pilar insults Pablo and orders him to leave the cave, perhaps saving his life in this way. Pablo goes out to check the horses but reminds the group that he will return. He pointedly remarks to Jordan that the snow is still falling, thus trying to bolster his argument about the foolishness of the band.
In this chapter, Hemingway introduces the image of Jordan as Christ. Indeed, we already know that he is willing to martyr himself for the Cause. Now, we see that Maria is compared to Mary Magdalene when she tends to Jordan's needs. Although Maria is not a reformed woman, she has been purified by Jordan's love. "Thou canst not dry them with thy hairfirst he is Lord of the Manor. Now he is our ex-Lord Himself." This passage is also noteworthy because the addition "ex" emphasizes the fact that the Republic has abolished religion. Ironically though, religion is referred to frequently, revealing that it is still an important, though covert, presence in the peasants' lives.
Inside the cave, the band decides that Pablo should be killed. Jordan says that he will kill Pablo that night, as he poses a danger to the safety of the group and the mission. This plan is abandoned, however, when Pablo returns in a conciliatory mood. He is smiling and overly friendly, and markedly questions if they were speaking of him.
Although Pilar tells Jordan that Pablo is acting agreeable because he has overheard his death sentence by the group, Pablo brings up a good argument in his own defense when he reminds Jordan that he is the only one who can lead them to safety after the bridge is blown. He says that he is now in agreement with the mission, and that he will help blow the bridge. Thus, Pablo's assassination is called off, but his threat to the group is even more prevalent in the minds of all.
This chapter is an ironic commentary about the license the Cause gives to normal men to decide the fate of others' lives. When the decision is made to kill Pablo, Fernando says, "I believe we are justified in believing that he constitutes a danger to the Republic." Pilar's comments seem to be Hemingway's own criticism: "Even here on man can make a bureaucracy with his mouth." Comparing the peasants to the Loyalist leadership is a criticism of how the Cause has become an excuse for anyone to grasp power and justify their violent actions.
The near-confrontation with Pablo sends Jordan into a reverie, and he compares the interminable conflict to a merry-go-round or a wheel of fortune. He then starts to think about what he will do when the war is over. He wants to return to Madrid with Maria, and to visit his friend, the Russian journalist Karkov, at the Gaylord hotel, which the Russians have adopted as a place for meetings of the communist party. Jordan reveals the inconsistencies in the war- such as peasant guerilla leaders who were trained in Russia and inept Internationals such as "Gall, the Hungarian, who ought to be shot if you could believe half you heard at Gaylord's."
Jordan reveals his disillusionment at finding so much cynicism among the communists. The cause itself is manufactured for the political purposes of those who make jest of its ideology. Jordan's thoughts reveal other inconsistencies in the Republican cause and the realities of its leadership. For example, the Republican leaders were not peasants, but actually the losers of a previous uprising and trained, during their exile in Russia, for the next revolution. Humanitarianism is scoffed at by the true communist leaders, but nevertheless used as a rallying slogan so that the peasants will enlist to fight for a worthy cause, such as the good of man. Interestingly enough, Jordan's knowledge of the lying and cynicism of the Republican leaders lets him accept its necessity, yet he still believes in the cause.
This chapter is a commentary on the falsehoods of communist leadership. Ineptitude of leaders is decried in such angry and image-laden descriptions as "the old bald, spectacled, brave-and-as-dumb-as-a-bull, propaganda-built-up defender of Madrid, Miaja." Indeed, the unusual syntax of this passage show how quickly these angry thoughts are conjuring in Jordan's mind. Hemingway reveals why Jordan feels so betrayed by comparing the religious dedication and severity of the early movement to the propaganda and falseness of the present. The decadence of Gaylord's is a direct contrast to the "puritanical, religious communism of Velazquez 63, the Madrid palace that had been turned into the International Brigade headquarters in the capital. In Velazquez 63 it was like being a member of a religious order." Indeed, this passage reveals that, at the beginning of the movement, Jordan considered himself a crusader.
Religious symbolism thus pervades this chapter. Namely, symbols such as the first communion and the repetition of names of cathedrals establish a contrast between the young believer and the more realistic Jordan who must now blow the bridge. "It was a feeling of consecration to a duty to all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrassing to speak about as a religious experience" Throughout the novel, religious imagery such as this describes Jordan's most poignant emotions. (For example, the love he shares with Maria purifies her and acts as his sanctuary.) Just as Jordan's past belief in communism was like a religious fervor, his disillusionment can also be described as a loss of religion: "in the fighting soon there was no purity of feeling for those who survived the fighting and were good at." Thus, Hemingway prods the reader to wonder if the only holy war or morally fulfilling cause is martyrdom.
Jordan reveals his disillusionment at finding so much cynicism among the communists. The cause itself is manufactured for the political purposes of those who make jest of its ideology. Jordan's thoughts reveal other inconsistencies in the Republican cause and the realities of its leadership. For example, the Republican leaders were not peasants, but actually the losers of a previous uprising and trained, during their exile in Russia, for the next revolution. Humanitarianism is scoffed at by the true communist leaders, but nevertheless used as a rallying slogan so that the peasants will enlist to fight for a worthy cause, such as the good of man. Interestingly enough, Jordan's knowledge of the lying and cynicism of the Republican leaders lets him accept its necessity, yet he still believes in the Cause.
This chapter is a scene inside the cave, in which the band simply exchange stories and discuss beliefs. The main topic is superstition, in which all people believe except for the cynical Pablo and realist Jordan. Pilar talks about how gypsies can predict death from its smell. Jordan refuses to believe in any such mysticism, and Fernando berates Pilar for revealing gypsy folktales to an educated man such as Jordan.
The theme of mysticism is prevalent in this chapter, and it is important because it reiterates the fact that, although the crisis with Pablo has been averted, the success of the bridge mission is still at risk. This important theme has been alluded to throughout the novel in instances such as the palm reading and the parallel between Jordan and Kashkin. But it is only now that the characters discuss it openly; it is interesting to note that Pablo is the only one who professes to be not superstitious. The belief of the other band members is on one level a play upon the cultural stereotype of the Spanish as very mystic people; on the other hand, the human need to believe in something, especially in a time of war and banishment of religion, is emphasized. Overall, the theme of mysticism is used deftly to heighten dramatic tension in the work.
The chapter opens with Jordan waiting for Maria to join him in the bed he has fashioned from wood outside. His need for her is urgent, perhaps because of the talk of mysticism and death in the proceeding chapter. As he waits, Jordan enjoys the smell of the fresh pines, as is his custom for clearing his thoughts, and scorns Pilar's ideas of the smell of death. Just when Jordan is despairing that they have little time left, Maria comes bounding through the snow in her bare feet and wearing only her "wedding shirt."
The couple discuss how they fell in love at first sight, and that they now feel like one person. They make love and go to sleep, but in the middle of the night Jordan wakes up in a panic and clutches Maria close to him. He feels as if she were all he has of life, and even that will soon be taken away from him. He covers her from the cold and places his gun in front of him to remain the rest of the night awake and pensive.
This chapter establishes the important theme that will run through the rest of the novel, that of Maria and Jordan being one person. A feminist reading of this unity might look with disfavor on the character of Maria; while Jordan affirms that it is good that they are separate personalities ("it is better to be one and each one to be the one he is."), Maria says that she would change for Jordan. Indeed, her interpretation of love seems to a total giving of oneself. "But if thou should ever wish to change I would be glad to change. I would be thee because I love thee soI love thee so and I must care well for thee." Maria has found herself in her love, and it now encompasses her total being while Jordan still retains his old concerns and independent agency.
Although many of Maria's expressions of love merely reaffirm her dedication and connection to Jordan, one line is particularly interesting, for it seems to contain an ominous premonition of the couple's future. "I will be thee when thou are not there." Thus, the parting scene between Maria and Jordan, when he tells her that he will live on within her, is foreshadowed.
Just as Jordan has purified Maria with his love, Jordan's loneliness is abolished by his physical union with Maria. The theme of mysticism is bolstered by the description "magically, by a simple touching of flanks, of shoulders and of feet, making an alliance against death with him." It seems that before he found love with Maria, Jordan's loneliness or fear of death were less prevalent, both to the reader and to himself.
The use of animal imagery is a constant theme throughout the novel, and in this scene Maria and Jordan see themselves as one animal, instead of one man. "Afterwards we will be as one animal of the forest and be so close that neither one can tell that one of us is one and not the other. Can you feel my heart be your heart?" The message of living life under the guidance of one's instincts is thus reaffirmed.
Jordan awakes to the sound of a horse, and sees a Fascist soldier riding towards their bed. Maria hides beneath the robe and Jordan shoots and kills the enemy. Panic now hits the camp. Maria pesters Jordan by telling him she wants to be by Jordan's side. Visibly absorbed in his work, he sends her away to help Pilar. Maria is sad about the soldier's death, although he was the enemy and would probably have killed them all.
The religious theme is important in this chapter, as Maria's concern raises the issue of the right of one man to kill another. Ironically, the Sacred Heart medal worn by the soldier is respected by the Loyalists, as Jordan promises Maria that he did not aim for it.