For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 16

SummaryThe freezing men return to the cave where they are welcomed with food and drink. Maria makes a housewifely fuss over Jordan and he tells her to get him dry socks. Pilar mocks him and calls him “lord and master.” El Sordo had stopped by to bring Jordan a bottle of whiskey and had gone for additional horses. Jordan wants Maria to eat dinner with him but she insists shed rather wait until after the men eat because thats how Spanish women behave. Pablo continues to tease Jordan about the snow: “Its still falling Inglese” (202). Jordan attempts to provoke Pablo into attacking him so he might kill him in self-defense. Pablo doesnt take the bait. He wont fight. Pablo continues to tease Jordan asking over and over again why men wear skirts in his country. Finally, very drunk, Pablo says that Jordan doesnt have the cajones to kill him. Agustin, another member of the group, slaps Pablo and asks him to tell the truth. Pablo insults them and Pilar, telling them they are “led by a woman with her brains between her thighs and a foreigner who comes to destroy you” (215). Pilar orders him to leave the cave, and he goes out to check the horses. He calls back to Jordan that the snow is still falling.
Clearly, Hemingway here paints Jordan as Jesus Christ, and like Christ he will more than likely die carrying out his mission, to save people. Here, Pilar calls him Lord and Master and he, kidding, chides Maria for not drying his feet with her hair as Mary Magdalene supposedly did for Christ. He is called Lord of the Manor and “our ex-Lord himself.” Maria represents the harlot Mary Magdalene whom Christ redeemed, just as Jordan healed Maria after her rape in prison. Anselmo is also lifted up; his despairing loneliness dissipates when Jordan touches him.
A great deal is also made here of the mens virility. It has been intimated in the past that Pablo is impotent, yet he attempts to emasculate the virile (as evidenced by his relationship with Maria) Jordan by stating men in his country wear skirts, that he doesnt have a proper beard. Then he condemns the men for being led by a woman.