For Whom the Bell Tolls | Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway

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For Whom the Bell Tolls | Chapter 12 | Summary



On the way back to their camp, Pilar apologizes to Maria for being rude, and when they rest, has Maria lay in her lap. She expresses jealousy of Maria's beauty, making it clear that she is not attracted to Maria, but is jealous of the fact that she is beautiful and young, and tells Robert Jordan that she is also jealous of him. Then she says that she will walk back to camp alone so that they can have time together. Jordan worries about her because she looks ill, but Maria says to let her go.


Pilar is struggling because she wants to make things easier for the young lovers to spend time together, knowing that Robert Jordan may end up being killed in the bridge explosion, and they may all die as they try to escape from the Fascists. However she is no longer able to feel what they feel in her relationship with Pablo, as Pablo just keeps getting worse, drinking more, and spending his time alternately living in fear, feeling ashamed of himself, and cuddling his horses, who receive far more attention than Pilar does.

Her sense of herself as ugly is also apparent again, and when Maria is right there in her lap, close enough to stare at intently, it is extremely hard for her to feel anything but jealousy. She struggles with the fact that she has these feelings, but she also loves Maria deeply and doesn't want to hurt her. To be jealous of a loved one is to be emotionally conflicted, torn between hating and loving.

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