For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 13

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Summary

Jordan and Maria walk holding hands through the heather. He begins to worry about the bridge and attempts to make his anxiety go away but he realizes now that in addition to Maria he has become fond of the others. He worries about what will happen to them should the Republic fail. The couple find a spot to make love. After making love they describe the experience: "the earth moved." Jordan is falling deeper and deeper in love with Maria. He has never loved so deeply before. He thinks about marrying her and returning to Sun Valley, Idaho, after the war but wonders about the reception he will receive after fighting on the side of the communists. Jordan now begins to think what he will not have if he loses Maria, or if he dies.
Pilar later on asks about their experience together. To their response about the earth moving, Pilar intimates that they will only ever have that experience three times in all their lives and she has only experienced it twice. Although it is late spring, to Jordan's horror, it begins to snow.
Analysis
Most of this chapter is highly erotic and concerns making love. The couple's love-making is certainly life-affirming, erotically highly charged. Maria has been healed from her horrors in prison, and Jordan, who has previously been emotionally frozen and intent only on war and death begins to thaw and think of marriage and a future life with Maria.
As Jordan's feelings for Maria grow, he begins to have doubts about his mission and lectures himself about fulfilling it: "if you stop complaining and asking for what you will never get, you will have a good life" (169).

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