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For Whom the Bell Tolls By Ernest Hemingway (Summary, Book Review, Online Reading, PDF, Download)

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Author Ernest Hemingway
Country United States
Language English
Genre War novel
Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication date
21 October 1940

Summary: For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades assigned to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to fly a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. The novel is considered one of Hemingway's best works, along with The Sun Also Rises, Goodbye to Arms, and The Old Man and the Old Man. Sea.In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel that emerged from "the good fight", For whom the bell tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades linked to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, tells him of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's latest performance, in his brilliant parody of La Pasionaria and his reluctance to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievements in The Sun Also Rises and A goodbye to arms to create a job both rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, loving and wise. "If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote to Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "nobody did it so completely." Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's earlier works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.

Review: For whom the bell tolls, it begins and ends in a forest with the smell of pine, somewhere in Spain. The year is 1937 and the Spanish Civil War is in full swing. Robert Jordan, an expert in demolitions added to the International Brigades, lies "on the brown floor of the ground, with pine needles, with his chin on his crossed arms, and above, the wind blew in the tops of the pines". The jungle scenery, however, is in sharp contrast to the reason Jordan is there: a bridge has come flying in the name of anti-fascist guerrilla forces. He hopes to have his local leader, Pablo, to help carry out the mission, but upon meeting him, Jordan has his doubts: "I do not like that sadness," he thought. That sadness is bad. That is the sadness they have before giving up or before betraying. That is the sadness that occurs before they run out. "For Pablo, it seems, he's already tired of the war, he has kneaded a small herd of horses and just wants to stay quiet in the hills and attract as little attention as possible. The arrival of Jordan and his mission have alarmed him seriously."I'm tired of being chased, we're fine here, now if a bridge blows here, we'll be hunted down, if they know we're here and they're chasing us with planes, they'll find us, if they send the Moors to open us, they'll find us and we should go. tired of all this, do you hear? "He turned to Robert Jordan." What right have you, a foreigner, to come to me and tell me what I should do? "In a short chapter, Hemingway establishes the plan for what is to come: Jordan's sense of duty in the face of dangerous self-interest and Paul's weariness with war. To complicate things further, two members of the guerrilla leader's small band: his "wife" Pilar and Maria, a young girl whom Pablo rescued from a train from the Republican prison. Unlike her man, Pilar remains fiercely devoted to the cause and, as Paul's loyalty fades, becomes the moral center of the group. Soon Jordan finds himself trapped between the two, even when his own determination is put to the test by his growing feelings towards Mary.For whom the bell tolls combine two of the author's recurrent obsessions: war and personal honor. The fundamental battle scene involving the last stand of El Sordo is a showcase of Hemingway's narrative powers, but the most silent and constant conflict within Robert Jordan as he struggles to fulfill his mission perhaps at the cost of his own life is a testimony of the psychological acuity of its creator. In turn, brutal and compassionate, it is possibly Hemingway's most mature work and one of the best war novels of the 20th century. - Alix Wilber

About The Author: Ernest Hemingway did more to influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. The publication of The Sun Also Rises and Adiós a las Armas established it immediately as one of the best literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novel The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.