For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 32

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Summary

After Jordan falls asleep there is an abrupt change of scene to a party at Gaylord's Hotel in Madrid. The leaders now realize that news of the offensive is out in the open, but they take no action. Karkov, the Russian with the wife and mistress in the same hotel, who befriended Jordan, asks a general to explain why the fascists bombed their own soldiers in the mountains near Segovia. "It was probably the fascists having maneuvers," he answers (359).
Analysis
Hemingway here establishes a contrast between Jordan in his sleeping robe on the ground with Maria, worrying about dying following day, and the military leaders at a party in the most luxurious Madrid hotel, planning their lives like pawns in a chess game. They show absolutely no concern about the Cause or the people fighting for it. The question arises, Jordan and Maria are willing to give up their lives, but for what?

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