Grew Up… in central Spain during a time of political upheaval. Though still a young woman, Maria has experienced a great deal of hardship in her life. She has recently suffered a traumatic rape at the hands of the Spanish fascists and has had most of her hair shorn off. Though damaging, this experience has not made Maria cynical.
Living… amongst Spanish anti-fascist rebels in the mountains of central Spain. The guerrillas and gypsies she lives with are kind to her and have taken her in. Pilar, a gypsy woman, takes special care for her and acts as a mother-figure for the young Maria.
Profession… helping around camp. Maria’s responsibilities amongst the guerrillas include cooking, cleaning, and generally helping out with whatever needs doing. This suits Maria’s helpful attitude and natural tendency toward care-taking and service.
Interests… pleasing her fellow anti-fascist comrades and community members. She has taken a special interest in Robert Jordan, the American who has entered the company of the rebels.
Relationship Status… in love with Robert, the American dynamiter who has been sent to destroy a bridge of strategic importance. Maria and Robert catch each others’ eyes from the moment they meet. Maria soon becomes honest about her emotions and expresses her feelings to Robert. Robert is slightly more reserved and finds it difficult to express himself, yet he provides a strong support for her. The two strengthen each other. “Nothing can ever part us now, can it?” she asks. “Nothing, Maria,” Robert responds.
Challenge… loving Robert fully in what little time they may have. An ominous feeling pervades Robert’s mission and both lovers fear they will be parted. Maria’s challenge is to love courageously and fully, and believe that nothing can separate true love.
Personality… determined, kind, and helpful. Her role in the small mountain community is that of service. Her love for Robert is unconditional. “If you don’t love me,” she tells him, “I’ll love you enough for both of us.”
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