Chapter 15 Notes from For Whom the Bell Tolls

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For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 15

Anselmo is crouched in the trunk of a tree. He is freezing, and wonders when Robert Jordan will come. He sees a camouflaged motorcar on the road and marks it in his notebook, unaware it isn't an enemy vehicle. He has seen ten cars, which is not unusual, but he cannot distinguish them and recognize the four enemy cars that went up. He decides he must go soon, with or without the Inglés. He sees smoke and thinks it is curious that the fascists are warm when tomorrow night they will kill them. It is only orders that come between them; they are all just poor men who should not be fighting each other. He knows that they are Gallegos (from the northwest region, Galicia), because he heard them speaking the dialect. He wonders what they, from their green country, think of the snow. He thinks of Otero, where he first killed, and Pablo throwing bombs into all of the windows; at that point he was still aggressive, though now he has become a neutered boar. Anselmo wishes to win so that he can return to his house and have done all he can as an old man in the war.

Inside, the enemy soldiers talk about the weather and disagree upon the month. They say that the guard is easy and without too much violence. They wish it could be that way through the whole war. They too fear planes.

Anselmo hopes that there will be a penance for the killing - if not religious, then civic, like working for the State. He knows the killing is necessary in the context of war, but wonders how Robert Jordan can be so detached; perhaps foreigners, or those without religion, do not feel the same need to repent. He feels lonely, but does not say his prayers because he does not want to ask for different treatment. No one can take away the Republic for which he has worked so hard.

Robert Jordan and Fernando arrive. Robert Jordan and Anselmo joke, calling the cave the palace of Pablo, the Palace of Fear, and the Cave of the Lost Eggs (slang, Pablo has lost his balls). Anselmo says he was about to leave, but Robert Jordan knows that he would not have and is impressed with his loyalty. They joke like old friends and Anselmo no longer feels lonely. Robert Jordan wonders about Fernando's loyalty. He asks what he is thinking and the man replies he is thinking of supper.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty 9
Topic Tracking: Bravery 8
Topic Tracking: Foreigners 9

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