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Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica. Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices.
These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. Questions or concerns? Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? Let us know. The title is from a sermon by John Donne containing the famous words "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main….
Any therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Jordan has been sent to make contact with a guerrilla band and blow up a bridge to advance a Loyalist offensive.
Robert Jordan has been dispatched from Madrid to lead a band of guerrilleros that operates in a perpetual state of leadership crisis. Pablo, the ostensible head of the group, has lost his robust commitment to the hardships of war and wistfully dreams of living peacefully in the company of his horses. Jordan finds an instant bond with Maria, a young woman who was raped by Fascist soldiers before being taken in by the Republican camp.
Jordan feels a creeping ambivalence toward the Republican cause and a more general selfalienation as he wrestles with his own abhorrence of violence. His inability to integrate his belief systems is dramatized through his relationship with Maria, for whom he bears a painfully intense love, although he shuns her while strategizing the risky bridgeblowing mission. Ultimately Jordan is forced to reassess his personal, political, and romantic values as his insistence on a coherent and orderly hierarchy of beliefs and experiences is shattered.
For Whom the Bell Tolls. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Written By: Anna Foca. See Article History. This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. Learn more. Britannica Quiz. Matching Names to Novels. Which of these works was not written by Rudyard Kipling?
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. American literature: Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck. Great Depression: Political movements and social change. In this novel, Robert Jordan, another Hemingwayesque volunteer, serving with a band of anti-Franco guerrillas, is badly wounded but stays behind to defend a….
It was also the most successful of all his books as measured in sales. Set during the Spanish Civil War,…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address.
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For Whom The Bell Tolls
As a dynamiter, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. It was published just after the end of the Spanish Civil War — , whose general lines were well known at the time. It assumes the reader knows that the war was between the Second Spanish Republic government, supported by the Soviet Union, which many foreigners like Robert went to Spain to help, and a successful, Nationalist faction , supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It was commonly viewed as the dress rehearsal for the Second World War. In , the year the book was published, the United States had not yet entered the war, which had begun on Sept. Set in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range between Madrid and Segovia, the action takes place during four days and three nights.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Like Henry, he is anti-heroically heroic, anti-romantically romantic, very male, passionate, an artist of action, Mercutio modernized. Though the heroine, Maria, reminds one rather less of Catherine Barkley, the two women have much in common. But there, I think, the resemblance ends. The story opens and closes with Robert Jordan lying flat on the pine-needle floor of a Spanish forest. When we first meet him he is very much alive and planning the details of his job, which is to join forces with a band of Spanish guerrillas and with their aid blow up an important bridge at the precise instant that will most help the Loyalist advance on Segovia. When we last see him he has fulfilled his mission and is facing certain death. Between the opening and closing pass three days and three nights.
Ernest Hemingway Crosses the Bridge
During the Spanish Civil War — , Spain became a battleground in the fight between freedom and fascism. Fascism prevailed. It is a story about a young American volunteer in the International Brigades, named Robert Jordan, who is attached to an anti-fascist guerrilla unit in the mountains of Spain. All of life—hope, fear, and love—plays out in three days of intense action. Though entirely a work of fiction, it transports you to that time and place so that you feel as though you have experienced it yourself. It is also simply a great story. An ardent lover of Spain since his first visit there, when he was twenty-four, to see the bullfights at Pamplona in , Hemingway followed the Spanish conflict from its inception.