Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 6, 2023
November 29, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
The young, gentle Maria catches Robert Jordan’s eye from
the moment he meets her. She exudes a natural, glowing beauty, despite the
fact that she has recently suffered a traumatic rape and has had most
of her hair shorn off. Though she is vulnerable and lays her emotions
bare, she exhibits an inner strength, determination, and resilience
that enable her to bear her difficult circumstances. Some critics
contend that Hemingway intends Maria to represent the land of Spain
itself, ravaged by the warring forces beyond her comprehension,
yet always enduring, beautiful, and loving. Indeed, Hemingway frequently
uses earth imagery to describe Maria, comparing her hair to the
“golden brown of a grain field” and her breasts to “small hills.”
In this light, Robert Jordan’s closeness with Maria mirrors his
closeness with Spain, his adopted country.
As Robert Jordan’s love interest, Maria provides the impetus
for his personal development from an unfeeling thinker and doer
to a romantic individual. In his conversations with General Golz
and with Maria early in the novel, Robert Jordan reveals his belief
that he does not have time for women during the war. Even after
Robert meets Maria, he remains closed to extreme emotion or romance. Though
in love with her, Robert Jordan still shuts her out whenever he
must think about his work. However, by the end of the novel, Robert
Jordan thanks Maria for everything that she has taught him and faces
the day of his mission noting that he has integrated his commitments
to work and to love. Maria, determined to embrace their love fully,
teaches Robert Jordan how to resolve his tensions between love and
Some critics of For Whom the Bell Tolls consider
Maria a weak link in the novel because her characterization depends
so heavily on the effect she has on Robert Jordan rather than on
her own motivations and conflicts. These critics argue that Maria’s
submissiveness and the speed with which her affair with Robert Jordan
progresses are unrealistic. They assert that Maria is not a believable
character but rather a stereotype or the embodiment of a male fantasy.
Some feminist critics have blanched at Hemingway’s treatment of
Maria’s rape, especially at the fact that sexual intercourse with
Robert Jordan appears to heal Maria instantaneously. But although
Maria does come across as a rather static character, this flatness
renders her symbolic importance all the more apparent. Maria’s lovely
image endures beyond the last pages of the novel, an emblem of a
land that maintains its beauty, strength, and dignity in the face
of forces that threaten to tear it apart.
Ace your assignments with our guide to For Whom The Bell Tolls!