For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 2

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Summary

Jordan and Anselmo continue until they arrive at a hidden cave, the guerillas' camp, where they encounter the gypsy guard, Rafael. A fun-loving person, Rafael makes small talk about the size of his appetite and inquires about Jordan's predecessor, the one with a "rare name." After blowing up a train that was carrying prisoners of war, Kashkin was captured and killed by his men so they could escape.
Maria, a short-haired girl who was rescued from the train after her imprisonment at Fascist jail at Valladolid, brings the men a succulent meal of rabbit in an iron dish. She is nervous and very beautiful. Jordan feels his throat constrict as she gazes at him while serving the meal. The men also talk of Pilar, Pablo's mujer, the woman of Pablo. She is ugly, the men agree, but they all praise her ability as a better leader than Pablo, who has changed since the beginning of the war, and for her fearlessness of death. She arrives and Jordan finds he trusts her instantly. She calls Pablo borracho!, a drunk, and is very glad to see the young, muscular Jordan. Highly superstitious, she reads his palm but drops it quickly. "Nothing," she says and refuses to tell him his future. She asks him to take Maria, for whom she has cared since rescuing her from the train, to Valencia where she can live as a refugee in safety.
Analysis
The novel's foreboding sense of disaster intensifies. Jordan is juxtaposed with his predecessor, Kashkin, whose death foreshadows Jordan's own demise. Then, when Pilar refuses to reveal Jordan's future, the reader can only assume the worst, especially after she asks about the bridge. There is an otherworldly aura of presentiment here. Jordan might not survive. However, he remains firm in his conviction as a soldier and will not admit fear.
Jordan is here juxtaposed with Pablo who is on his last legs as a leader. Pilar, Pablo's woman, has taken control of the ragged band, while he sinks into alcoholism. Indeed, the men praise her as a better leader than Pablo. She is the one, after all, who saved Maria's life by literally carrying her up the mountain on her back and then by forcing them to carry her when she was too tired. Pilar feels Jordan's muscular strength beneath his shirt and tells him she is glad to have this youthful, masculine man on their side. Here too, Hemingway brings about the topic of hunting and how during war time, it is men who are hunted as animals.

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