Chapter 10 Notes from For Whom the Bell Tolls

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For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 10

They are on their way to El Sordo, a leader of a band of guerrillas. Robert Jordan is in a hurry. Maria likes the smell and feel of the pine trees, and Pilar says that she likes anything, and would be a gift to a man if only she could cook. Robert Jordan likes the pines also. Pilar says she is ugly. Maria and Robert disagree. She asks María how she would like to be ugly. She says that she is not ugly, only born ugly; inside she is beautiful, and would have made a good man, but she is all woman and all ugly. Yet she has had many loves:

"Look at the ugliness. Yet one has a feeling within one that blinds a man while he loves you. You, with that feeling, blind him, and blind yourself. Then, one day, for no reason, he sees you as ugly as you really are and he is not blind anymore and then you see yourself as ugly as he sees you and you lose your man and your feeling... After a while, when you are as ugly as I am, as ugly as women can be, then, as I say after a while the feeling, the idiotic feeling that you are beautiful, grows slowly in one again. It grows like a cabbage. And then, when the feeling is grown, another man sees you and thinks you are beautiful and it is all to do over." Chapter 10, pg. 98

María insists that she is not ugly, but that she (María) is. Robert Jordan asks the woman to tell him about Pablo before the movement. The woman replies that even his glorious acts were ugly, and she does not want María to hear. María says that she will not have bad dreams after all that has happened to her. The woman says that if one did not see the start of the movement in a small town, one has seen nothing.

Topic Tracking: Women 7

Pablo assaulted the enemy barracks, and the guardia civil, or Civil Guard, surrendered early in the morning. Pablo had four of them. One told him that he had never killed, and another wore corporal's stripes. He made them kneel and shot them in the heads with their own pistol, which one of them had to show him how to use. There were more than twenty other fascist sympathizers. Pablo organized it like a bullfight, with the fascists held in the Ayuntamiento (city hall), the streets blocked to form a plaza, and everybody watching. He arranged two lines of men with flails, clubs, pitchforks, sickles, and reaping hooks. One of the men said he had never killed, another said he will learn. He added that he did not think that his club will kill in one blow, and a third said that the beauty of it is that there would be many blows. Pilar explained to one man that they were proceeding in this way to save bullets, and also so that each man will share in the responsibility.

Mayor Don Benito García was the first to come out. Nothing happened, and then finally, one blow fell, then many followed. After him, no one would come out. The drunkards shouted. Don Federico González, owner of the mill and feed store, was too scared to walk, and reached to the sky, not speaking a word the entire time. Don Ricardo Montcalvo volunteered to go, saying that to die is not a bad thing, only to die at the hands of these men. He insulted the Republic, and was killed quickly. He aroused such anger in the men that they wanted to flail the priest. Don Faustino Rivero, known as a girl-chaser and a coward, having faked sickness to avoid a bullfight, came out next. They yelled insults, and he tried to turn back, but was pushed out again by Pablo. Rivero lost his cool, and was thrown off the cliff without a beating. Pilar knew that the lines had become cruel. Don Guillermo Martín, from whose store they got the weapons, came out, and Pilar thought that if it had not been for the other events, he may have been set free.

Topic Tracking: Bravery 6

Robert Jordan tells of a time when he saw a black man lynched in Oklahoma. Maria says she has never seen a Negro, except in the circus, unless the Moors count as Negroes. Pilar says she can talk of Moors, and Maria tells her not to, making reference to her rape, and Pilar tells her not to bring that up - it is unhealthy.

Topic Tracking: Women 8

Pilar continues her story. They teased Don Guillermo, who was not a rich man, and who accepted fascism due to the religiousness of his wife. She cried out to him, and he was beaten. Pilar felt intense shame, and began to walk away. She told two men that had left the lines that she had a belly-full. They spoke of how such killing will bring bad luck. She went to speak with Pablo and heard some shouting "long live liberty," and one man said with disgust that they should have been shouting "long live drunkenness." Pilar returned in time to see the fat Don Anastacio Rivas being beaten by a drunken mob. A drunk wearing a red and black scarf set the body of Don Anastacio, who was too heavy to throw off the cliff, on fire.

The guards locked the doors when the mob broke out, and the priest was inside with the remaining men. Finally, Pablo simply unlocked the door and let the mob in. Pilar wanted to see, so she hit a drunkard in the groin so that he would get out of her way. She saw the priest being hacked with hooks and sickles. They finally threw the bodies over the cliff with a wheelbarrow, and Pilar would have preferred they threw twenty or thirty of the drunkards over the cliff with the bodies. The next day, Pablo criticized the priest's lack of dignity. Pilar asked how he could have dignity while being chased by a mob. Pablo insisted that he felt disillusioned, for he had expected the priest's death to be a culmination of his violent acts. Pablo was also a priest, and more importantly, he was Spanish. He would not have sex after the killing, and she understood, as she lived with bullfighters. She looked out during the night and saw Don Guillermo's wife crying by the fountain and decided that it was the worst day of her life-until the fascists took the town three days later.

Topic Tracking: Foreigners 4

Maria begs her to stop. Robert Jordan wants to hear, but Pilar says it will be bad for Maria. She will tell him everything that happened to Maria sometime, and Maria wants to be there when she tells, but Pilar says that she will never hear it.

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