Wednesday, February 01, 2006

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Category: War

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Summary: For Whom the Bell Tolls begins and ends in a pine-scented forest, somewhere in Spain. The year is 1937 and the Spanish Civil War is in full swing. Robert Jordan, a demolitions expert attached to the International Brigades, lies on the forest floor. The setting is at sharp odds with the reason Jordan is there: he has come to blow up a bridge on behalf of the antifascist guerrilla forces. He hopes he'll be able to rely on their local leader, Pablo, to help carry out the mission, but upon meeting him, Jordan has his doubts. For Pablo, it seems, has had enough of the war. He has amassed for himself a small herd of horses and wants only to stay quietly in the hills and attract as little attention as possible. Jordan's arrival--and his mission--has seriously alarmed him.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger davew4 said...

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Favorite Novel)

The reading level of this novel is a bit difficult because of the style in which Hemingway writes. However, the style also adds to the quality and I was personally attracted to it. The novel is written in mostly a chronological order with only a few recolections of the past which are very distinguishable and easy to follow. The characters by the end of the book have evolved to become individuals that one cares about. The plot is continually exciting and intertwines Hemingway’s beliefs and statements very well with the story.
Being written by Hemingway the novel had large amounts of information in all the literary criticisms.
This novel presented opinions about war and gave room for different interpretations. It was easy for me to connect this novel back to the previous ALIS because of the varying interpretations and new views that Hemingway offered. Because the book was likeable, and the structure was easier than that of other books, finding quotes and examples from the book was not difficult. It was easy to take notes that would remind me of my thinking. In the novel, authority was adressed, but this time with the essence of loyalty towards authority and its orders. On the other hand, there was also a significant female character that could be discussed in relation to other topics.
Hemingway provides controversial issues in very mannered ways. The aspects of brutal revenge, love, and obviously violence are all brought up; however each is discussed modestly and is presented as thoughtful ideas rather than a means to gross the reader out.
I would recommend For Whom the Bell Tolls to anyone who has enjoyed Hemingway in the past, those who enjoy a quick pase in a book, those who are able to analyze situations and extract deeper meanings, and those who are looking to develop an argument about the aspects of loyalty and authority.


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