For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 6

SummaryJordan returns to the cave and talks to Pilar and Maria about the “good” guerilla leader El Sordo, “the deaf one,” who has failed to show up that evening. They plan to visit him the following day. Jordan returns Marias advances by flirting and telling her she looks beautiful. Pilar teases Jordan, calling him Don Roberto, to which he strenuously objects. Then they talk politics, with Jordan referring to himself as an anti-fascist but not a communist. The women talk then about the roles their family played in the Republican effort. Marias father was shot because of his membership. Jordan tells them that his father and grandfather spent their lives as Republicans. While they talk they touch each other eagerly, with Jordan stroking Maria on the head. He tells her his father shot himself, and this commonality solidifies their relationship in Marias mind. “Then you and me,” she tells him, “are the same” (67). Jordan asks Maria to move while he talks to Pilar, who assures him that he was not wrong to have let Pablo live and she reassures him that although he no longer wants to fight he will not be a danger to the mission. She inquires where he intends to sleep and he assures her he will be outside the cave in a sleeping robe.
Jordan does not want to be viewed as a member of the upper class and thus does not want to be referred to as Don Roberto. He believes that everyone should be comrades, or “camarada.” The American Jordan, thus, seems more concerned with the Cause than the Spanish peasants for whom it is meant to protect.
Maria and Jordan share an instant attraction. They have fallen in love, and like all who experience this state they attempt to find commonalities that will justify their intense feelings. Jordan cannot restrain himself and publicly runs his hand over her head. Hemingway has been harshly criticized for his portrayal of woman as weak, passive and childlike and Maria fulfills this depiction exactly. However, the character Pilar, whom the same critics ignore, is the epitome of the strong woman.