Robert Jordan

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Robert Jordan

For Whom the Bell Tolls

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About Him

Grew Up… in Midwestern America. Robert is the son of a weak man who could not stand up to his aggressive wife and who eventually committed suicide. His upbringing has made him feel more closely related to his grandfather, a veteran of the American Civil War.

Living… amongst Spanish anti-fascist rebels in the mountains of central Spain. The guerrillas and gypsies he lives with are in some ways strange, employing folk wisdom and mysticism more than genuine know-how. Robert is forced to adapt, cope, and come to appreciate the ways of these mountain-dwelling rebels. You can bet rabbit stew is on the menu.

Profession… dynamite expert. Robert is in the International Brigades, attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. Back in the U.S., Robert is a university Spanish instructor. His knowledge of Spanish helps him now, but in a very different capacity. He is now a dynamiter, assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. He must carry out his orders in the company of a backwoods mountain rebels with whom he has joined company.

Interests… achieving his goals. Robert has a strong sense of duty and is interested in both helping the Spanish rebels and completing his mission. Though confused and angered by the chain of command, Robert is ultimately interested in carrying out his role in the war effort.

Relationship Status… single, but in love. Robert has fallen in love with Maria, a young woman living with the rebel forces he has joined. Maria is honest about her emotions and expresses her deepest feelings to Robert, but she also exhibits an inner strength, determination, and resilience. “Nothing can ever part us now, can it?” she asks. “Nothing, Maria,” Robert responds.

Challenge… loving Maria fully and completely, and still remaining loyal to his mission of blowing up the bridge. Robert expresses frequent doubts about his mission and has the ominous feeling that he and Maria will be separated.

Personality… intelligent and courageous. Robert is pragmatic and good at what he does. He is intuitive and thoughtful, yet never lets his emotions interfere with his work. When asked why he is fighting another country’s war, he answers, “A man fights for what he believes in, Fernando!”

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