Balla Essay

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Explanation for Quotation 3 >> After the guerrilleros hide from four passing Fascist cavalrymen in Chapter Twenty-three, Agustín reveals that the anxiety he experienced was caused not only by fear, but also by a thirst for the kill. In this passage, which comes directly afterward, Robert Jordan reflects on the particular nature of Spaniards. He believes that, as a race, they have an innate, pre-Christian, visceral desire to kill that has surfaced periodically throughout history. He references the Spanish Inquisition, the state-sponsored brutal persecution of Jews and other non-Catholics that was practiced in Spain from the Renaissance through the beginning of the nineteenth century. Robert Jordan ends by forcing himself to face up to the fact that he, too, has felt the urge and excitement of killing. In several instances throughout the novel, most notably in the language that he uses to describe Andrés’s memories of bull-baiting in his hometown in Chapter Thirty-four, Hemingway draws parallels between the drive to kill and the desire for sex. Through this parallel, Hemingway establishes yet another connection between death and sex, a major motif in the novel. The Value of Human Life Many characters die during the course of the novel, and we see characters repeatedly question what can possibly justify killing another human being. Anselmo and Pablo represent two extremes with regard to this question. Anselmo hates killing people in all circumstances, although he will do so if he must. Pablo, on the other hand, accepts killing as a part of his life and ultimately demonstrates that he is willing to kill his own men just to take their horses. Robert Jordan’s position about killing falls somewhere between Anselmo’s and Pablo’s positions. Although Robert Jordan doesn’t like to think about killing, he has killed many people in the line of duty. His personal

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