For Whom the Bell Tolls: Novel Summary: Chapter 5

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Summary

Soon after Pablo leaves the cave, Jordan himself goes outside and Rafael follows him. The gypsy wonders why Jordan didn't kill Pablo. If need be, he should provoke him but kill him he must. Jordan hesitates because he does not care to kill the man and he is yet unclear how killing Pablo would serve the Cause: "my obligation is to the bridge and to fulfill that, I must take no useless risk of myself until I complete that duty" (63). Pablo then emerges from the darkness and glosses over their argument. He sings Pilar's praises about her loyalty to the Republic. After he leaves to go to see his horses, Jordan tells Rafael to go tell the sentry Agustin about the argument. Rafael then is confident that Jordan will kill Pablo.
Jordan, however, realizes that as a foreigner he is perhaps not the best person to kill Pablo. He knows that either Anselmo or Pilar, unquestionably loyal to the Republic, would be better. Then he realizes that it is precisely these two who really believe in the Republic. Jordan returns to the cave as Pablo strokes and croons to his horses.
Analysis
Of importance here is the hesitation on Jordan's part to kill Pablo. He is not a natural killer like the owl hunting at night who swoops down between Jordan and Rafael. He will only kill for the Cause and he's still unclear concerning Pablo's standing. Pablo's death is not yet justified. Pablo's sad and poignant interaction with the horses sheds light on him and casts him as a sympathetic character. He has alienated himself from his people, who look upon him now as a coward, and he seeks approval of sorts from the animals. Sick at heart and yearning to return home, he speaks to the horses tenderly as one would to a lover. Hemingway writes, however, that even the animals are happy to see him go. We have yet to learn, however, what Pablo has suffered earlier in living life for the Cause.

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