For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 15

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Summary

The old man Anselmo waits on the road for Jordan to relieve him. He is near freezing but remains on duty. As he waits, he looks at the hut where the fascist guards wait and he thinks to himself, they are just poor men, as he, forced by others into bad situations. A camouflaged Rolls Royce containing three officers passes and he makes a mark as Jordan requested. Growing yet colder he begins to think of his own past and while he praises himself for the contributions he made to the revolution, he feels an agony of guilt over those he killed. He feels extremely lonely until Jordan finally arrives and claps him on the back and gives him a drink. Jordan takes delight in the fact that in an unusually undisciplined Spain, Anselmo remained at his post despite the storm. He feels more hopeful about the future.
Analysis
More insights are provided into Anselmo, his background, his complete devotion to the Cause and his subsequent guilt about killing others. He obeys and carries out orders unquestionably. He doesn't hate the nearby Fascist soldiers who are in his country warm and safe but believes that all soldiers are the same men, just on different sides. He thinks of Pablo not with hatred but with sadness and looks back on what he once was and not what he has become. Also, standing firm through the storm sheds light on Anselmo's ability to withstand battle, something that bothers him. He is fearful he will run but his ability to weather the storm suggests that this will simply not be the case in the days ahead. Hatred of the enemy, however, is not what motivates Anselmo. Although he says he no longer prays because it would be hypocritical, he is nevertheless a spiritual man guided by a strong sense of decency and love for his fellow man.

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