For Whom The Bell Tolls

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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The novel For Whom The Bell Tolls is based on one of Ernest Hemmingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War. This novel describes how irony and love gets in the way of a war and how devastating these affects can be. Irony, love and death is developed throughout this novel by a character named Robert Jordan. Jordan has been assigned a mission to blow up a bridge. On his journey he falls in love with a girl named Maria. This is where the theme of love begins. As time goes by, Robert realizes that he may die and questions himself to whether he wants to fulfill his mission and lose his love or call the whole thing off. This is where the theme of irony develops. Jordan goes along with the mission and everything goes as planed. As they are leaving the battle scene, Jordan is hit with a shell.

This is where the theme of death forms.

Jordan tries to hold on to his life because he doesn't want to loose his love.

The themes of this novel are very relevant to myself and readers my age.

In this novel, Jordan has a job to do and it was interrupted by another person.

The very same thing happens in our lives today. We plan to do something and as we are carrying out our plans we are interrupted by another person. We have to decide if we will dedicate our love to this other person, or be loyal towards our plans. This decision can change our life around. After finishing everything that has to be done, we will eventually start to die.

I feel that the most important word in For Whom The Bell Tolls is love. I think that this word is the most important because love is what changes Jordan's mission around. Once Jordan meets Maria, he doesn't want to continue his mission because he is afraid of what might happen. I feel that the most important passage in this novel is: "I cant wait any longer now[hold on to his life], he said. If I wait any longer I'll pass out. I know because I've felt it starting to go three times now and I've held it[Jordan is trying to hold on to his life]. I held it all right. I don't know about any more. What I think is you've got an internal hemorrhage there from where that thigh bone's cut around inside. Especially on that turning business. That makes the swelling and that's what weakens you and makes you start to pass. It would be all right to do it now. Really, I'm telling you that it would be all right."� I feel that this is the most important passage in the novel because it explains how Robert Jordan is continuously trying to hold on to his life. I feel that the most important element in this novel is the war. I feel that this is the most important element in this novel because everything that happens is a result of the war.

I liked the ending of this novel because it was dramatic. At the end, Jordan is trying to hold on to his life. He continuously fights his pain and overcomes death. This novel did not end in a "happy ending"�, and that it was makes it so dramatic. I think that there is a little more to tell. Will Robert Jordan die or will he live? I think that Robert Jordan will die because his injury was severe.

I think that the most significant character in this novel is Robert Jordan. Jordan is a dynamic character because he constantly changes throughout the novel. He begins as a man who is loyal toward his mission and throughout his journey, he starts thinking about other things. He puts his mission aside and starts to think about himself. He switches from loyalty to his work to loyalty towards himself. Jordan thinks about what he's doing and has second thoughts. He tries to cancel the mission so save his love with Maria. He then decides to go through with the mission and take his chances.

All of these changes and decisions is what makes Robert Jordan a dynamic character.