Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan, an American expatriate schoolteacher who has joined the Loyalist forces in Spain. Disillusioned with the world and dissatisfied with his own country, Jordan has come to Spain to fight and die, if necessary, for a cause he knows is vital and worthwhile: that of the native peasant free souls against the totalitarian cruelty of Francisco Franco and his Fascists. He is, however, aware of the contrast between his ideals and the realities he has found among narrow, self-important, selfish, bloodthirsty men capable of betrayal and cruelty as well as courage. He also finds love, devotion, generosity, and selflessness in the persons of Anselmo, Pilar, and especially Maria. The latter he loves with the first true selflessness of his life, and he wishes to avenge her cruel suffering and someday make her his wife in a land free of oppression and cruelty. With bravery, almost bravado, he carries out his mission of blowing up a bridge and remains behind to die with the sure knowledge that in Maria and Pilar his person and ideals will survive. Successful for the first time in his life, in love and war, he awaits death as an old friend.


Maria, a young and innocent Spanish girl cruelly ravaged by war and men’s brutality. Befriended by Pilar, a revolutionary, Maria finds a kind of security in the guerrilla band and love in her brief affair with Robert Jordan. As his common-law wife, almost all memory of her rape and indignities disappear, and at a moment of triumph for their forces it looks as if they will live to see their dreams of the future fulfilled. Elemental in her passions and completely devoted to her lover, she refuses to leave him and must be forced to go on living. The embodiment of Jordan’s ideals, she must live.


Pilar (pee-LAHR), the strong, almost...

(The entire section is 775 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Characters

Robert Jordan is the main character and the central consciousness of the story, the apprentice hero who, for some readers, achieves...

(The entire section is 316 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Character Analysis

For Whom the Bell Tolls Character Overview

Character Overview
The characterization in For Whom the Bell Tolls differs from that of Hemingway’s shorter...

(The entire section is 1044 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Robert Jordan

Before the Spanish Civil War Robert Jordan had been a college Spanish instructor with a deep love of Spain and its people. His liberal...

(The entire section is 370 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Maria

Jordan meets the young and beautiful Maria at Pablo’s hideout. She has been brutalized by the Fascists after they murdered her father, a...

(The entire section is 197 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Pablo

Pablo serves as a foil to Jordan. He is the leader of the central guerrilla band and Pilar’s husband. Prior to Jordan’s appearance, he...

(The entire section is 392 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Pilar

Pilar is married to Pablo, the leader of the central guerrilla band. Unlike many of Hemingway’s other women, Pilar is a complex, strong...

(The entire section is 376 words.)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Other Characters

Anselmo is an elderly member of Pablo’s band. Anselmo lacks education but reveals a moral and compassionate...

(The entire section is 132 words.)