Chapter 30 Notes from For Whom the Bell Tolls

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For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 30

All the orders have been given. Everybody knows what to do. Andrés left three hours ago. Golz does not have the power to stop the attack, and will not be able to get in contact with the proper authorities in Madrid for clearance. Robert Jordan wishes he had sent word to them sooner, but knows he could not have. He is confused by the fascists' recent actions, and thinks reports of other offensives are a bluff. He knows that he must not show fear or it will affect the others. He is impressed with Sordo's stand, and jokes to himself that he does okay for a professor. He looks forward to seeing his friend Durán, also a good general with no training, after the war. He is conflicted and tells himself not to kid himself.

He compares himself to Grandfather who spent four years in the American Civil War; he has only spent one year fighting, and tries to minimize his situation to comfort himself by being concrete and practical. He thinks of Grandfather's gun with which Grandfather said he had killed men, but did not elaborate. Robert Jordan's father shot himself with that gun. After the funeral, the coroner returned it, saying that it was a hell of a good gun. Robert Jordan dropped the gun into a deep lake. He thinks how Grandfather would have known what to do, and wishes he were here instead. He wonders if Grandfather sent his military instincts to him through his father, and remembers how it made him sick to realize his father was a coward. Robert Jordan wants to tell Golz about Grandfather.

Karkov has invited Robert Jordan to the military academy in Moscow, and he wonders what Grandfather would think, but does not want to be a soldier. "I guess really good soldiers are really good at very little else." Chapter 30, pg. 339 He thinks again about his father and is ashamed of him. He tells himself soon he will have Maria and won't have to think. He knows he has to blow the bridge whether or not Andrés returns, that the festival will not be called off, and this is comforting, knowing that matters are out of his hands for a few hours.

Topic Tracking: Bravery 16

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