"Satyrs at Play" - aediculaantinoi.wordpress.com: HADRIAN and ANTINOUS finally release their embrace, and notice DIONYSOS

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

For whom does the bell toll?

“For whom the bell tolls?”

Right there, on the beach; the good old ship bell: it cries out loud and clear, sad and sorrowful, imbibed with the pain of separation and tragic foreboding.

For nobody. It just reminds people, the happy and contented beachgoers, to buy ice cream.

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. .... Robert Jordan, Anselmo and others are ready to do "as all good men should" ...

For Whom the Bell Tolls

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For other uses, see For Whom the Bell Tolls (disambiguation).

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Cover to the first edition
First edition cover

Ernest Hemingway

United States


War novel

Charles Scribner's Sons

Publication date

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 attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that the novel is regarded as one of Hemingway's best works, along with The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and the Sea, and A Farewell to Arms.[1]


The title of the book is a reference to John Donne's series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness (written while Donne was convalescing from a nearly fatal illness) that were published as a book in 1624 under the title Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, specifically Meditation XVII:

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."

Plot summary

This novel is told primarily through the thoughts and experiences of the protagonist, Robert Jordan. The character was inspired by Hemingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War as a reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Robert Jordan is an American in the International Brigades who travels to Spain to oppose the fascist forces of Francisco Franco. As an experienced dynamiter, he was ordered by a communist Russian general to travel behind enemy lines and destroy a bridge, with the aid of a band of local antifascist guerrillas. (The Soviet Union aided and advised the Republicans against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War.) In their camp, Robert Jordan encounters María, a young Spanish woman whose life had been shattered by the execution of her parents and her rape at the hands of the Falangists (part of the fascist coalition) at the outbreak of the war. His strong sense of duty clashes with both guerrilla leader Pablo's unwillingness to commit to an operation that would endanger himself and his band, and his newfound joie de vivre arises out of his love for María. However, when another band of antifascist guerrillas led by El Sordo are surrounded and killed, Pablo decides to betray Jordan by stealing the dynamite caps, hoping to prevent the demolition. In the end Jordan improvises a way to detonate his dynamite, and Pablo returns to assist in the operation after seeing Jordan's commitment to his course of action. Though the bridge is successfully destroyed, Jordan is maimed when his horse is shot out from under him by a tank. Knowing that he would only slow his comrades down, he bids goodbye to María and ensures that she escapes to safety with the surviving members of the guerillas. He refuses an offer from another fighter to be shot and lies in agony, hoping to kill an enemy officer and a few soldiers before being captured and executed. The narration ends right before Jordan launches his ambush.

The novel graphically describes the brutality of civil war.


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