For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 39

SummaryJordan agrees to enable Pablo to maintain his dignity in front of the five new men he recruited by going along with the story that Pablo is the leader. He is worried about Pablos late involvement but realizes that this is the only way the mission will succeed. In fact, he is feeling a lot more confident since Pablo returned because Pablo has had lengthy experience in carrying out such endeavors and is intrepid in battle: “he felt not that his luck had returned since he didnt believe in luck, but that the whole thing had turned for the better and now it was possible” (393). Despite this new found confidence, “like sap rising in a tree,” however, Jordan must work to quell all thoughts of Maria and the possible future they could share together (393). He puts aside such thoughts, knowing what he and Maria shared was perfect but that “it is over and done with now on this morning and what there is to do now is out work” (393). Put your head down he tells himself, complete the work and get out fast.
Throughout the novel the stoic, rational Jordan has become more and more superstitious. Beginning with the palm reading episode in chapter two, when Pilar read his palm and answered “nothing,” when he inquired about what she saw, he has been moving away from rationality toward the supernatural. Pablos return he views as his “luck changing” before quickly insisting that he doesnt believe in luck. But, its not only the return of Pablo that brings him relief, and the resultant confidence, it means also that Pablos return was so unexpected that it seems like a miracle of sorts. If miracles exist, then, perhaps another one can come about and he will survive to live out a long life with Maria. In addition, he refers to Pablo (which translates to Paul in English) as Saint Paul who didnt believe in Jesus until he experienced a conversion. This contributes then to the idea of Jordan as a Christ figure.