The Image of Love and Death in E.Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”


1. Biographical facts: Hemingway and Spanish Civil War 6
2. Love and death of “code hero”Jordan 7
2.1 Maria’s and Jordan’s love 9
2.2 Emphasis on the running out time 11
3. Killing as a part of guerrillas’ life 13
4. Symbols of life and death 17
E. Hemingway (1899-1961) is a renowned American author of the Twentieth century who centres his novels on personal experiences and affections. He is a representative of the “The Lost Generation.” His novel For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) deals with three days in the life of the Hemingway hero, named Robert Jo ordan, who is fighting as an American volunteer in the Spanish civil war. He is sent to join a guerrilla band in the mountains to blow up a strategic bridge. He spends three days and nights in the guerrillas’ cave where he falls in love with Maria. He successfully destroys the bridge, however, is wounded in the retreat and is left to die. On the other hand, “he has come to see the wisdom of a sacrifice, and the book en nds without bitterness” (Unger, 1972, 254)
The critics state that “for one thing the love story, if not sentimental, is at any rate idealised and very romantic” in this novel and “none of his books had evoked more richly the life of th

he senses, had shown a surer sense of plotting, or provided more fully living secondary characters, or liverier dialogue.” (Lee, 1983, 78).
Malcolm Cowley’s introduction to The Portable Hemingway was among the first essays to describe Hemingway’s romantic tendencies. “The publication of The Old Man and the Sea left little doubts of Hemingway’s romanticism, and there is a general agreement among critics that the romantic impetus had always been Hemingway’s fiction.” (Wylder, 1969, 132)
The critic Rovit calls the novel as a “fable” (ibid, 131) where “Robert Jordan as the protagonist follows the mythical journey of the hero in a modern setting (ibid, 129)
Hemingway’s biographical facts are closely connected with what he describes in his novel. Spanish civil war has left a great trace in hi is mind and soul as well as the suicide of his father. All these features can be found in the novel and are introduced in the first part Biographical facts: Hemingway and Spanish Civil War of the essay and are illustrated with quotations in later parts.
Love and death of “code hero” Jordan is the part of the essay which dwells on the Hemingway’s code hero Jordan and his love to Spanish people along with love to Maria as well as hi
is looming death throughout the novel. Here the hero is a lover, a soldier as well as a martyr of the cause. This part is divided into two subparts Maria and Jordan’s love and Emphasis on the running out time to emphasise the most important points concerning Jordan. They deal with Jordon’s love to Maria and the influence of the lack of time on their love.
The third part Killing as a part of guerrillas’ life has to do with the inevitable necessity to kill in the war, which is revealed through the characters of Jordan, Anselmo and Pablo. Killing as well as the war comes from the corruption of human morality, and not all the characters in the novel can justify killing for the cause.
For Whom the Bell Tolls is a book about people struggling for their lives and doing their best to not to die themselves but kill as much of their enemies as possible. Here life is very fragile and end does not come unexpectedly while death symbols prevail throughout the novel. This is what the last part Symbols of life and death deals with.
Conclusions sum up the essential points of the essay. They are followed by th
he Summary in Lithuanian.
For Whom the Bell Tolls is a remarkable novel not only for its historical significance, but also because it so pertains to the current problems the world is facing in the contemporary world.1. BIOGRAPHICAL FACTS: HEMINGWAY AND SPANISH CIVIL WAR
While growing up Hemingway was very close to his father Dr. Clarence Edmonds (Ed) who taught his son to shoot, fish, and camp when he was a boy. Ed was also a strict father, with harsh discipline and often argued with his wife, Grace. In 1928 Ed killed himself with his father’s revolver from the Civil War.
In 1918 Ernest Hemningway was called to the war to drive an ambulance for the American Red Cross in Italy. There he was severely wounded in both legs, but saved another man’s life, and was awarded a medal of honour from the Italian army. This experience rid him of any romantic notions of war for he became restless and often thought of death.
Hemingway had spent extensive time in Spain during the 1920, and was especially interested in the annual festival of San Fermin in Pamplona in mid-summer, where the running of the bulls took place. It is here that he was introduced to the Spanish tr
radition of bullfighting. He was absorbed in the people and the culture and especially obsessed with bullfighting about which he wrote in Death in the Afternoon (1932) and used some images in For Whom the Bell Tolls. In 1937, Hemingway was sent to Spain to write about the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. The war had broken out in 1936, as large landowners, military, the church, and monarchists, supported by German and Italian fascist forces, revolted to defeat the Republican, pro-democratic government which had replaced the monarchy in 1931. Hemingway sided with the Republicans, and his sympathy for them is obvious in For Whom The Bell Tolls, in which he glorifies three intense and often tragic days in the life of a group of Republican guerrilla fighters. (
For Whom the Bell Tolls opens with an epigraph, a short quotation that introduces the novel, sets the mood, and presents the theme. This epigraph is from a short essay by the seventeenth -century British poet John Donne. Donne writes that no person stands alone—“No man is an island, entire of itself”—because everyone belongs to a community. As a result, the death of any human diminishes Donne himself because he is a part of mankind. Donne warns us not to ask who has died when we hear a funeral bell toll, for it tolls for everyone in the human race.
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. (Hemingway, 1981, 1)

No analysis of Hemingway’s work may be completed without a portrait of his “code hero,” common to almost all of his novels. “Hemingway is known to focus his novels around code heroes who struggle with the mixture of their tragic faults and the surrounding environment. Traits of a typical Hemingway Code Hero are a love of good times, stimulating surroundings, and strict moral rules, including honesty. The Code Hero always exhibits some form of a physical wound that serves as his tragic flaw and the weakness of his character” (Brenner, 1983, 129). Hemingway defined the Code Hero as “a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honour, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.” (ibid, 129)

Indeed, Robert Jordan fulfills the standards with his role, manly with his skills, obedience to orders and willingness to sacrifice for a cause. Therefore Hemingway’s code hero Jordan lives life through action and sensual pleasure as well as accepts the risk of death. The character of Jordan is often seen following these traditional standards.
Robert Jordan is an American Spanish professor who has volunteered to fight for the Loyalists in the Span.ish Civil War. He is a demolition expert, and the plot revolves around his mission to destroy a bridge in Fascist territory.
Jordan’s watchword: “the bridge can be the point on which the future of the human race can turn” (Wylder, 1969, 129) is important for two reasons. Firstly, it reaffirms the central theme of For Whom the Bell Tolls: the necessity for a republican soldier to believe that the cause for which he kills and risks his live will do good to his beloved people and country. Secondly, the affirmation that each action that one man makes – such as blowing the bridge – will have help greatly to fulfilll the mission of “code hero.” However, it is very possible that the mission may fail and may cause more harm to the spirit of the republican band. It is possible that the risk and loss of life will be for nothing.
Jordan seems to use his love to justify dying. After spending two days with Maria his views and cogitation has changed. Moreover, his faith which he began to question in order to justify his actions has also altered. Yet it must be noted that even love does not distract Jordan’s thoughts from the duty of the code hero. He merely found a new reason what to die for in Spain – he comes to the conclusion that he was brought there to find love. On the other hand, he takes a very sentimental view of love, which he says is “the most important thing that can happen to a human being.”
So far he had not affected his resolution but he would much prefer not to die. He would abandon a hero’s or a martyr’s end gladly. (Hemingway, 1981, 196)
Not only did love come to into his life but also death signs seem to be haunting Jordan throughout the novel:

It was three o’clock. Then he heard the far-off, distant throbbing and, looking up, he saw the planes. (ibid, 330)

The planes are “throbbing,” just almost like living. This may be explained as an ironic view that they are like machines of death. Furthermore, it indicates that Jordan is trying to prepare himself to his possible death as more and more interior monologues appear in the novel where he tries to calm himself and concentrate on his mission. What’s more, an important symbol in this episode is the time – three o’clock. “It has a mystical connection with an approaching death as three o’clock is a religious symbol – the hour at which Christ died on the cross, and thus implies approaching martyrdom” (Wylder, 1969, 147).
Jordan’s condemnation of his father’s suicide foreshadows a decision that he will have to make at the end of the novel. The theme of suicide was first introduced with the character of Kashkin, the one who worked with the band before Jordan and with whom the band first drew parallels to Jordan. At first, death only sometimes dominated Jordan’s thoughts. Later any act of thinking sees coming death. This way a threatening mood of awaiting doom is created all through the novel.
Superstition appears in chapter 31, as even the realist Jordan is now reading signs. He feels that making love to Maria is “not good luck for the last night.” Maria herself seems to believe that they are going to die when she says they should “get everything said before it is too late.” Again, the image of time slipping away prevails. The characters feel a necessity to hurry up their relationship “before it is too late”.
In the situation described in chapter 33 when Jordan finds out that Pablo stole dynamite and other supplies for blowing the bridge from Jordan. Jordan tells off Pilar for letting Pablo escape, but then calms her by saying that he will still be able to blow the bridge. Pilar is ashamed because she was responsible for guarding these supplies and tells Jordan, “I have failed thee and I have failed the Republic.” This episode reveals the complications of Jordan and Pilar’s relationship. They depend on each other’s help and loyalty in order to do the duty. The character of Pilar can be described as a very strong personality that is an actual leader of the guerrillas’ .band and that takes care of each member of it as a mother. Jordan also respects Pilar for her wisdom and war experience. It is Pilar who took care of Maria, healed her from rape trauma and even encouraged the development of love of Maria and Jordon.
The threat of death accompanies the band all the time and they can never get used to it. For example, in chapter 33 the ominous tone of doom foreshadows disaster:
There is a hollow empty feeling that a man can have when he is waked too early in the morning that is almost like the feeling of disaster and he had this multiplied a thousand times. (Hemingway, 1981, 391)
Jordan’s death is the rather ironic in the novel. His mission is accomplished, yet he must “fulfill the omens which have followed him during his life in three days” (Lee, 1983, 53). In all the novel death signs indicated an inevitable death of the main hero. However, the suddenness of Jordan’s death comes with a great surprise as the hero was almost on his way to safety. “The bright flash from the heavy, squat, mud-coloured tank there on the road” is his death sentence. Hemingway describes Jordan’s pain very vividly and the reader can almost feel his “broken leg with the sharp bone and where it pressed against the skin” (Wylder, 1969, 153).
Jordan’s goodbye to Maria repeats the theme of them being one person: “Thou art all there will be of me.” (Hemingway, 1981, 497) Jordan’s own acceptance of his death lets the reader to consider that, perhaps, he did not die in vain, for he has experienced a greater understanding that he has gained from his three days of life (Wylder, 1969, 161).
He knew he himself was nothing, and he knew death was nothing. He knew that truly, as truly as he knew anything. In the last few days he had learned that he himself, with another person, could be everything. But inside himself he knew that this was the exception. That was given to me, perhaps, because I have never asked for it. That cannot be taken nor lost. (Hemingway, 1981, 500)

It may seem that Jordan was too young to experience the things he although did went through. Jordan understood that he had been blest to have lived such life though rather short. His doubts of his inevitable death in the face of it faded away.
The last line of For Whom the Bell Tolls returns the reader to “the pine needle floor of the forest.” The detail “his heart beating” sadly portray Jordan’s last moments of life. The reader is left to imagine his death with a strong feeling that life is worth living and that there are causes worth dying for.2.1 Maria’s and Jordan’s love
The contact between Maria and Jordan reinforces two themes concerning their love affair. One is that they experienced love at first sight, which was necessary both of them in wartime, and to make the plot, encompassing three days, more vivid.
I loved you when I saw you today and I loved you always but I never saw you before (ibid, 102)

The fact that both young people have lost their fathers (Jordan’s father committed suicide, Maria’s father was killed by fascists) links their destinies in Maria’s mind. Thus, her anticipations are fulfillled by this coincidence: “then you and me we are the same . now I know why I have felt as I have”. Jordan gives in to the impulses he has been denying all day: “he ran his hand over the top of her head. He had been wanting to do that all day and now he did it, he could feel his throat swelling.” (ibid, 98)
Though Maria’s love could have been described as a young girl’s fancy, the following lines make it clear that Maria’s love to Jordan will save her from the consequences of the horrors of her captivity.
He looked at her brown face and at the eyes that, since he had seen them, had never been as young as the rest of her face but that now were suddenly hungry and young and wanting. (ibid, 99)
According to Wylder, “Maria herself is a mixture of immaturity and world-weariness for she has experienced many of the horrors and few of the joys of life” (Wylder, 1969, 150).
Love is idealized in this novel while love as the balm can heal Maria’s previous sexual trauma:
If we do everything together, the other maybe never will have been. (Hemingway, 1981, 105)
The reader can perceive that due to love Jordan has lost control and let himself into emotions, which is generally against the way code hero should behave. Therefore, one can see that this newfound love creates moral conflicts with Jordan’s duty to fulfill his mission to blow the bridge at all costs.
The appearance of the planes also makes time a very important theme in For Whom the Bell Tolls as it reminds of the danger they are in. Pilar, for example, urges Jordan and Maria to make love because “there is not much time.” Love and death here are always together, and they are paralleled with night and day. The night is devoted to Jordan and Maria’s love while the day to plan and accomplish the mission. Pilar reminds them not to waste time and warns of the unknown dangers that threaten to end their happiness when she tells them: “You have the night. But there is the day, too.” This way Pilar urges them to spend as much time alone during the day as possible (“you could pick wild strawberries”). On the other hand, she is reminding Jordan of what must be carried out during the day – the blowing of the bridge, which is a contrast to the lovers’ feelings. Jordan often has to fight with his thoughts and, for example, his internal fight reveals itself in conversation with Pilar – he speaks to her of his duty but also admits his love for Maria. He seems to question whether the cause is worth losing Maria in death, this way revealing his concern about the sign that Pilar saw in his hand and didn’t tell him about.
Reading the book it can be seen that the love between Maria and Jordan has many mystical or religious elements. Love not only does purify Maria of her past experiences, helps her to recover (she was raped), but also makes Robert Jordan believe in living for the moment:
There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow . there is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. (ibid, 201)
Just as Jordan has purified Maria with his love, Jordan’s loneliness was eliminated by Maria’s love. “Maria’s rape is recalled as she and Jordon talk after their lovemaking, a past hurt healed and redeemed through their present intimacy” (Lee, 1983, 97) It explains why with perhaps only two more days to live, the love affair between Maria a.nd Jordan developed so quickly.
The important theme that dwells through the rest of the novel is that Maria and Jordan is one person. Maria says that she would change for Jordan. Indeed, her understanding of love seems to be a total giving of oneself.
But if thou should ever wish to change I would be glad to change. I would be thee because I love thee so .I love thee so and I must care well for thee. . I’ll learn from Pilar what I should do to take care of a man well and those things I will do. (Hemingway, 1981, 202)

Maria has found herself in her love, and now this love is what she lives for and only dreams about while Jordan’s thoughts often go away about his concerns of his duty.
The use of animal symbol is a constant theme throughout the novel as, for example, in this scene Maria and Jordan see themselves as one animal, instead of one man:
Afterwards we will be as one animal of the forest and be so close that neither one can tell that one of us is one and not the other. Can you feel my heart be your heart? (ibid, 292)
Jordan’s desire to live and start a real life with Maria is apparent when he whispers to her in English, thus symbolising his desire to remove himself and her from the reality around them:
I’d like to marry you, rabbit. I’m very proud of your family. (ibid, 374)
In chapter 37 Jordan seems to be already convinced that he has lived his whole life in three days. He has even formed a family: the guerrillas are his brothers, Maria is his wife. The description of their love is almost like a poem, for it is constructed of repeated words, particularly “now” and “one.” The rhythm alludes to that of their bodies, as these words reveal Jordan’s preoccupation with living in the moment and his celebration of their unity: “always now, always now, for now always one now,” (ibd, 410). Jordan feels that he has experiences everything in his life that he could and he believes that he is ready to die for the cause.2.2 Emphasis on the running out time
The war has made the time short, and Hemingway constantly emphasises this to justify the realism of his plot. He stresses how the revolution has changed the normal behaviour of people and illustrates it with Maria’s and Jordon’s sudden love. All is now, with the past and future rolled into now. Just as the seventy hours of Jordan’s life with the group becomes his whole life. And just as all is now, so all is one “one and one is one”” (Wylder, 1969, 155). Note the repetition of the very word “time” in Jordan’s explanation:
It is because of the lack of time .what we do not have is time . we must live all our life in this time that there has been informality. What we do not have is time. Tomorrow we must fight. To me it is nothing. But for Maria and me it means that we must live all of our life in this time. (Hemingway, 1981, 320)
The lack of time, accompanied by the sounds of fighting in the background, creates a very tense mood. Hemingway pinpoints the threat of death to increase the dramatic tension. Agustin’s humour reveals that the peasant band knows their chances of surviving are poor:
We have two weak elements. The gypsy and Pablo. But the band of Sordo is as much better than we are as we are better than goat manure. (ibid, 321)
Jordan does not look at looming death so lightly, but rather his thoughts portray the horror of fighting. For example, the description of the sound of the firing at El Sordo’s is described very powerfully: “the precise, crackling, curling roll of automatic rifle fire.” (ibid, 385) The contrast between Agustin’s statement about the ability of El Sordo’s band and the sound of their defeat increase the tension of the moment.
The final sentence of chapter 35 is also much tensed as we see Jordon tracking the time:
He lay there holding her very lightly, feeling her breathe and feeling her heart beat, and keeping track of the time on his wrist watch. (ibid, 401)

Even love cannot end Jordan’s preoccupation and calm his worries. Maria’s breathing symbolises life, and the ticking of the clock foreshadows that this life is limited.3. KILLING AS A PART OF GUERRILLAS’ LIFE
In his novel Hemingway describes the irresistible desire to kill that comes from the corruption of human morality often revealed by a symbol of animals. Agustin admits that “when I saw those four there and thought that we might kill them. I was like a mare in the corral waiting for the stallion.” (ibid, 315)
Hemingway uses religion to describe even the desire to kill. In the following passage, however, it is ironically a violent religious act, the “Auto de Fe” or Spanish Inquisition that Jordan uses to describe the “corruption” of Agustin.
It is their extra sacrament . they are the people of the Auto de Fe, the act of faith. Killing is something one must do, but ours are different from theirs. And you, he thought, you have never been corrupted by it? (ibid, 315)
Accordingly, we see that Hemingway has a realistic view of Spain, both its contemporary and historical downfalls as well as the greatness. Hemingway is even more ironic when he says that Anselmo, who objects to killing, is “a Christian. Something very rare in Catholic countries.” It seems that “the Inquisition could be a symbol for the corruption that has rotted the Republican cause. The propaganda – whether religious or political doctrine – is euphemism or justification for the bloodshed of power struggles”. (Lee, 1983, 25)
The defeat of El Sordo is a very painful account to read while he is seen at his most terrible and hopeless situation. Knowing that they will be killed soon, El Sordo and his men spend their final moments trying to kill as many of their enemies as they could. This helped little but spilled more blood. Ironically, despite their efforts, they are killed quickly by the dropping of a bomb. “They are unable to prove themselves as soldiers when an impersonal and inhuman force from above effortlessly destroys them”. (ibid, 30)
In chapter 34 Andres travels through the countryside and thinks about his brothers in his home village. He is happy that he will not be back for the attack in the morning. He anticipates that the band is doomed. Andres’ reminiscing paints another portrait of Spanish life before the war. Thinking about his village and his friends Andres understands that his enemies are merely men like he himself. A major theme is repeated here, that peasants such as Andres are no longer willing to die for the cause. Pablo in Andres wishes to return to their families, friends and relatives in their native village as they are already tired to fight.
The character of Anselmo is important in this novel as the symbol of anti-war and violence. He is Jordan’s elderly guide and trusted friend and a good man. He truly believes in the Loyalist cause and therefore is a brave and loyal soldier (Wylder, 1969, 144).
On the door of the church of my village was nailed the paw of a bear that I killed in spring, finding him on s hillside in the snow, overturning a log with this same paw. . And every time I saw that paw, like the hand of a man, but with those long claws, dried and nailed through the palm to the door of the church, I received a pleasure” (Hemingway, 1981, 71)
This story of Anselmo suggests that he respects nature and he justifies killing animals. However, he can not justify killing a human in any way. His disgust and hesitance at facing this possible task is Hemingway’s means of introducing the moral dilemma of war. As a soldier, Anselmo had to kill but he did it not with pleasure. For him, it is a sin to kill a man. He says: “to me there is a great difference between the bear and the man.” (ibid, 298)
Jordan’s explanation of why he hasn’t minded killing in war shows how Jordan considers himself an instrument of the republican cause:
But I feel nothing against it when it is necessary. When it is for the cause. (ibid, 71)

Consequently, Jordan has the idealistic notion that his actions, even killing, are dedicated to the good of the common people. Hence, his character represents “the ignorance, disguised with the virtue of a worthy, the harm that war causes on individual lives.” (Brenner, 1983, 38) Jordan claims that after the war he “will try to live in such a way doing no harm to anyone, that it will be forgiven” (Hemingway, 1981, 289). However, Anselmo contradicts him saying that there is no God any more, they have abolished him and there is no one to forgive him:
Certainly not. If there were God, never would He have permitted what I have seen with my eyes” (ibid, 73)
Finally, Anselmo tells the main truth about the war: killing can never be a solution and it will never bring anything nice but more and more hate.
To kill them teaches nothing . you cannot exterminate them because from their seed comes more with greater hatred. (ibid, 74)
We should win this war and shoot nobody. . we should govern justly and that all should participate in the benefits according as they gave striven for them. And that those who have fought against us should be educated to see their error. (ibid, 314)
Pablo is the leader of the guerrillas who help Jordan to blow the bridge. Once a ruthless leader, Pablo is now afflicted by cowardice and cynicism. As he no longer wants to fight for the cause, he makes difficulties for Jordan and threatens to the completion of his mission. He mistrusts Jordan, a foreigner who has come into his country to give him orders. Pablo has given up hope himself, however, he dislikes the interference of an outsider into a war which he as not being a citizen of Spain has nothing to do with (Wylder, 1969, 160)
If they know we are here and they hunt for us with planes, they will find us. If they send Moors to hunt us out, they will find us and we must go. I am tired of all this. You hear? He turned to Robert Jordan. What right have you, a foreigner, to come to me and tell me what I must do? (Hemingway, 1981, 47)
Pablo is not an unselfish freedom fighter but is rather interested in the survival of himself and his group. At the same time he reveals a pessimistic attitude, as he feels it is futile to run and hide any longer, and would like remain in the mountains until he is inevitably found and killed.
Another ironic twist in the character of Pablo is the fact that he had recently acquired five beautiful horses – gained from the killing of two civil guardsmen from the Monarchist side. The fact that Pablo owns something valuable for the first time in his life lessens his interest in the cause. In this way, Hemingway makes the reader think “about the altruism that one must have in order to make a political and military fight in their life, and perhaps even to die for it” (Wylder, 1969, 134). The figure of Pablo also introduces the important theme of the relationship between the downtrodden individuals for whom war is supposedly already fought and whose destinies are no more in their hands.
The final scene of chapter 5, in which Pablo speaks sadly to his pony, subtly reveals why he has “gone bad.”
Thou my big good little pony . Thou with the big neck arching like the viaduct of my pueblo . Thou art no woman nor a fool. . Thou do not insult nor lie nor not understand. (Hemingway, 1981, 96)
For one, his tenderness towards the pony, contrasted with his rough behaviour with people, shows that war has isolated him from his comrades. Moreover, he seeks affection and acceptance from one who will not judge him for his cowardice, which will never tell him a bad word and will never betray him.
The image of animal gives the reader new insights into the character of Pablo. Pablo is tired of leading and commanding. He longs for the true affection, such as given by animals to their masters. Pablo’s praising of the pony also reveals that the leader is homesick. He no longer wants to fight for the cause, but rather would like to live to see the “viaduct” of his hometown once more. Finally, Pablo resents that Pilar and Jordan, both still willing to die and kill for the cause, do not listen to his valid arguments about the danger of the mission. Hem.ingway even portrays the emotions of the horse to show how truly disliked and isolated Pablo is:
The man annoyed him . the horse went on grazing and was relieved now that the man did not bother him. (ibid, 96)

Pablo can no longer justify dying for the cause that has evidently destroyed his manhood. However, he still needs acceptance, and isolation from the rest of the band does not bode well for his mental stability or his future actions.
When Jordan met Pablo for the first time, he saw a deep loneliness in his eyes and at once he understood that he may be a threat to the task he is to accomplish.
I’ll take it, – Palblo told him, and in his sullenness there was a sadness that was disturbing to Robert Jordan. He knew that sadness and to see it here worried him. (ibid, 44)
But I don’t like that sadness, he thought. That sadness is bad. That’s the sadness they get before they quit or before (ibid, 45)
As later he saw this sadness was because Pablo was too tired to fight anymore. Once have been heartless killer, now all he wants is to end the war and lead a peaceful life. Therefore Pablo was against Jordan blowing the bridge, as it meant that the entire band will have to leave for another place. For that reason Pablo decided to detain the blowing of the bridge and to run away from the band. However, he came back with an apology.
I do nothing for thee [Jordan]. Thou art a thing of bad omen. All of this comes from thee. Sordo also. But after I had thrown away your material I found myself too lonely. (ibid, 421)4. SYMBOLS OF LIFE AND DEATH
“As in all Hemingway work you will find symbolism wherever you look in this novel, although, the symbols do not intrude on you.” (Wylder, 1969, 133)
In chapter 5 the owl is an important symbol in the scene between Jordan and Rafael.
As they spoke, the owl flew between the trees with the softness of all silence, dropping past them, then rising, the wings beating quickly, but with no noise of feathers moving as the bird hunted.
– Look at him, – the gypsy said in the dark. – thus should men move. (ibid, 93)
Rafael kept persuading Jordan to kill Pablo, a betrayer, as he was the only one who could do it. The owl is like a symbol describing how Jordan should hunt Pablo, swiftly and before more disorder would be caused. Rafael keeps relating Jordan to the predatory hunter saying: Thus should men move. Jordan’s decision not to kill Pablo shows that, although he will kill men for a cause, “Jordan is not an instinctual killer. Thus, the question of the value of life and the justification for taking it is reasserted.” (
An animal image describes war, as the planes are likened to sharks. Jordan thinks of the planes as “the wide-finned, sharp-nosed sharks of the Gulf Stream. But these, wide-finned in silver, roaring, the light mist of their propellers in the sun, these do not move like sharks. They move like no thing that has ever been. They move like mechanized doom.”(Hemingway, 1981, 119) This image is important because it reaffirms the feeling of dread and awaiting doom that dominates the novel. So too, the “fact that these planes are like nothing before them indicates that these warplanes, most likely the German Luftwaffle, will transform Spain, bring it into a new modern age where it is ruled by violence and a power, like the sharks, yet unknown.” (ibid) One more meaning of the planes could be love between Jordan and Maria taking place in the background of danger and death – life and death in contrast.
An important symbol in chapter 12 is the snow on the mountains at which Pilar gazes during her confession. She says:
– What rotten stuff is snow and how beautiful it looks, – Pilar said. – What an illusion is the snow. (Hemingway, 1981, 368)
The snow masks of horror of war with its splendour. Particularly then it contributes to “the theme of the cause of the republic merely being a hollow reason for death”. (ibid)
The snow is a very important element, as it is nature’s sudden achievement. It caused the hiding place of El Sordo be discovered and destroys Jordan’s hope of backup. Therefore, Jordan is truly alone, unable to depend upon man or nature. This also reaffirms the theme of the isolation of man in the novel. (ibid)
The snowstorm is also a symbol for the anti-thesis of war – not so much as peace but as a unity with nature.
It was like the excitement of battle except that it was clean. In a snowstorm it always seemed, for a time, that there were no enemies. (Hemingway, 1981, 210)

The symbol of snow reveals that Jordan also has a need for purification as Maria. He contemplates the snow’s cleansing powers with words such as “white cleanness” and “stillness.” Jordan enjoys the storm, despite the fact that “it ruined everything” and could eventually cause his death. Perhaps he, like Pablo before him, is beginning to wish for a way out of the war. However, Jordan at that time has only two more days to live and he will enjoy the power of nature despite the threat it does to his mission and his life.
Pilar’s flashback to the bullfight is another important symbol of war. Unlike the peace of the storm, the bullfight is a symbol for the “violence that seizes Spain, not only in times of war, but within its very culture and social structure. The bullfight suggests how quickly a life is risked, and how death does not matter as much as if one dies honourably.” (Wylder, 1969, 149) Therefore, the reader understands why the peasants were ready to die for the cause, but why they now have gro.wn weary when the glory days of the Republic are over.
In chapter 25 two recurring symbols – the snow and the planes – appear and give the mystical anticipation of death from the beginning of the novel. The tracks in the snow are what killed El Sordo’s band: “they were lost when the snow stopped.” Here the planes this time are likened to birds of bad luck by Pilar. Accordingly, as both superstition and logic are coming true, the planes represent certain doom.
In Chapter 28 the Nationalist Lieutenant Berrendo marches towards La Granja through the forest. He prays for the soul of his dead comrade. Anselmo is counting the bodies at the camp, and sees the enemies take leave. As he returns down the hill, Anselmo prays for the first time since the beginning of the war. The fact that “men from both sides of the war pray simultaneously symbolises their common ties.” (ibid, 148) Hemingway describes the act of praying with beautiful religious imagery: “the light coming through the tree trunks in patches as it comes through the columns of a cathedral.” (Hemingway, 1981, 355) Indeed, it seems that the forest is a symbol for a house of worship. Ironically, it is also the scene of slaughter.
There is also a mystical element in Pilar. Although full of common sense, she is attuned to various mysteries. She reads Jordan’s palm and probably sees his imminent death. She also tries to describe the smell of death that she could feel in the ill-fated Kashkin, Jordan’s predecessor (Wylder, 1969, 134).
I saw death there as plainly as though it where sitting on his shoulder. And what is more he smelt of death. (Hemingway, 1981, 281)
In chapter 10 one more symbol appears when the characters are half way up the mountain. Pilar points out that one can only go up or down on a mountain. “This connotes the themes of life versus death, good versus bad, love versus war, and night versus day in the novel. It is very hard to be in between, as the characters are now, and forced to look at ambiguous and grey reality.” ( A related symbol is the bird called the water wagtail that only goes up and down and is good for nothing else because it is inedible and does not sing. Pilar’s insistence upon comparing her ugliness to Maria’s beauty is also related to the theme of contrasts.CONCLUSIONS
Hemingway is the author whose life facts and personal experience are reflected in his works. As a war reporter the author has seen many deaths let alone his father’s suicide.
For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel not only about death that is common for the war but also about love: love for the homeland, for countrymen, for relatives, for opposite sex and etc. In the face of death love becomes a very precious and dear thing, which makes the novel quite romantic and sentimental. Love, in contrast to death, is revealed as a power that can change a person’s cognition and the values of life.
The “code hero” Jordan came to Spain just to fight for his beliefs – that was the only aim of his life. However, from the very moment he fell in love with Maria, his plans of life changed. Suddenly he began to question whether the cause was worth loosing Maria, loosing their possible future life and happiness together. On the other hand, they would not be happy in the split up country where death was threatening in every step they took. Therefore it was worth dying for the cause, for the country, for the happiness of other people.
Maria’s and Jordan’s love had just three days to begin and to end. The only way they could comfort themselves was to imagine that they were one person. If one of them dies, their love does not vanish, it remains with that person for good. Their love developed so quickly that the reader did not notice that only three days have passed. It seems that they had enough time to enjoy their love.
The most important thing in the war is not to loose one’s courage, therefore it is vital to have a strong will. For example Pablo, once a cruel killer and fighter for the cause, lost his will to fight and the only preoccupation of this man became to take care of his horses. Pablo saw that no matter how many men you kill, there was no end for killing. He lost his faith and understood that slaughter can bring nothing but more and more deaths.
The characters deal with their conscience in a different way in the novel. Some of them, like Jordan, justify killing for the cause as not a sin and believe it will be enough to do good to other people later after the war. Others, like Pilar and Anselmo, have abolished God. To their minds, God would not have let such things to happen, he would not let so many people die.
To sum up, in For Whom the Bell Tolls Hemingway reveals his personal thoughts about war, love and death. Not only does he give a striking picture of the reality of the war but also he focuses on people’s feelings and destinies.SUMMARY IN LITHUANIAN
Hemingvėjaus gyvenimo faktai ir išgyvenimai atsiskleidžia jo 1940 metais išleistame romane „Kam skambina varpai“. Būdamas karo reporteriu, jis matė daugybę mirčių, o ypač jį paveikė jo tėvo savižudybė.
„Kam skambina varpai“ – tai romanas ne tik apie mirtį, kuri yra neišvengiama karo metu, tačiau taip pat apie meilę: meilę tautiečiams, artimiesiems bei priešingajai lyčiai. Meilė romane yra mirties priešprieša, ji yra jėga, galinti pakeisti žmogaus mąstymą ir gyvenimo vertybes.
Pagrindinis romano veikėjas Džordanas atvyko į Ispaniją su vienu tikslu – kovoti su fašistais įvykdydamas savo misiją. Tai taip pat buvo vienintelis jo gyvenimo tikslas. Tačiau vos jis pamilo Mariją, jo gyvenimo planai pasikeitė. Tuomet Džordanas suabejojo, ar šis tikslas yra vertas jo gyvybės. Jis ėmė svajoti apie bendrą gyvenimą ir laimę kartu su Maria. Kita vertus, jie nebūtų laimingi susiskaldžiusioje šalyje, kur mirtis tyko kiekviename žingsnyje. Todėl verta aukotis, jei ne dėl savo, tai bent dėl kitų laimės.
Marijos ir Džordano meilė truko tik 3 dienas. Įsimylėjėliai jautė, kad jų meilei buvo nelemta tęstis ilgai, todėl vienintelė jų paguoda buvo įsivaizduoti esant vienu asmeniu. Vienam iš jų mirus, jų meilė neišnyko, o pasiliko su gyvuoju amžinai. Jųdviejų meilė susiklostė taip greitai, kad skaitytojas net nepastebi, kad praėjo tik trys dienos; atrodo, lyg jie būtų turėję pakankamai laiko pasidžiaugti savo laime.
Kare yra būtina turėti stiprią valią tam, kad neprarastum drąsos ir pasiryžimo. Pavyzdžiui Pablo pradžioje karo buvo žiaurus ir negailestingas žudikas, tačiau vėliau jis pavargo ir prarado viltį. Tuomet vieninteliu jo rūpesčiu tapo ne kova už savo įsitikinimus, o jo pavogti žirgai. Nužudęs daugybę žmonių, Pablo suprato, kad nesvarbu kiek žmonių tu nužudysi, karui ir žudynėms nebus galo.
Romane visiems veikėjams teko nužudyti žmonių, tačiau jie skirtingai tai išgyvena, kitaip tramdo sąžinės priekaištus. Vieni, kaip Džordanas, mano, kad žudyti dėl tikslo yra pateisinama ir kad tai nėra nuodėmė. Jie mano, kad užteks po karo stengtis daryti gera kietiems žmonėms. Kiti, pavyzdžiui Pilar ir Anzelmo, teigia, kad Dievo nėra, nes jis nebūtų leidęs visoms jų nelaimėms atsitikti, nebūtų leidęs tiek daug žmonių mirti.
Taigi, romane „Kam skambina v arpai“ Hemingvėjus atskleidė savo asmeninį požiūrį į karą, meilę ir mirtį. Jis pavaizdavo įspūdingą karo realybę per veikėjų jausmus ir likimus.REFERENCES
Hemingway E. (1981). For Whom the Bell Tolls. Moscow
Brenner, Gerry (1983). Concealments in Hemingway’s .Ohio State Univ. Press.
Lee, Robert A. (1983). Ernest Hemingway : new critical essays. London: VisionTotowa : Barnes and Noble.
Unger, Leonard (ed.)(1972) American writers: a collection of literary biographies. New York : Ch. Scribner’s Sons
Wylder, Delbert E. (1969). Hemingway’s heroes . Univ. of New Mexico Press.

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