This essay compares Salinger's Catcher in the Rye to Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls in order to reveal the common plight of the two protagonists.

Essay by soapssA+, November 2003

download word file, 8 pages 4.5

Downloaded 41 times

In the book, For Whom the Bell Tolls, the main character, Robert Jordan, is assigned the task of blowing up a bridge during the Spanish Civil War. He is faced with many conflicts and because of the ambiguity of his future, he does not think ahead about what his life might be like once he is free and the war is over. He is unable to face complexity and tries to avoid thinking at all costs. Each time that he faces his motivation for killing, his mind is clouded with uncertainties and doubt. Jordan cannot see past the present and, as a result, he sets his reasoning to the task at hand accordingly. The many times in the book, when he ponders on what his life might be like after the war, he stops himself, remembering that he is here for just one reason, to carry out the duties that were designated to him.

He told himself, "He would not think of himself into any defeatism. The first thing was to win the war. If we did not win the war everything was lost...he was serving in a war and he gave absolute loyalty and as complete performance as he could give while he was serving." Robert Jordan programmed himself to thinking that he had no life after his service. He was required to do his job, and, after that, what lay ahead was insignificant. He did not look beyond the war for fear of being disappointed. There was a chance that he would die and would not be able to accomplish what he longed to do. He devoted his life to fighting in order to help the Spanish. Jordan tried not to look at anything other than the specific task set before him (the destruction of a bridge)...