For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway, with the novel For Whom The Bell
Tolls makes an argument in favor of freedom. He wrote the novel in 1939
and kept alive the memories of his experiences in the Spanish Civil
The main character, and central point of the whole
action, is an American volunteer named Robert Jordan. He's been
entrusted to blow up a bridge to stop the advance of the national
reinforcement troops against a republican attack.
His guide, Anselmo, establishes the contact between
him and a group of people of the guerrilla who live hidden in the
He will live with them three days, while preparing
his mission, and will get to know by himself the dreams and
frustrations caused by the war.
Characters as: Pablo, the chief of the "maquis", a
disappointed and sceptical old man; Pilar, his wife, a brave and daring
person; the Deaf and his group, fierce fighters for freedom.
Along his stay he falls in love with María, a
19-years-old girl, victim of the fascist violence. Love comes in hard
times and they start a romance that the personality of the main
character and the circumstances will make something exceptional.
Through internal monologues or flashbacks we get to
know the personal story of all the characters, while Spain is reduced
to ashes by the tragedy.
The heroe knows that his mission isn't going to
change things, but he believes in his ideals and fulfils his duty.
During the blasting he gets his leg injured. He says a farewell to
María and her partners, and dies when shooting against a sudden attack
of the enemy.
The last section of the novel is the main character
lying with a machine gun, covering the retirement of the guerrilla men.
This novel, first published in 1940, is the longest
and most ambitious of the author, and is considered as a masterpiece.
Its reading is essential to get to know Hemingway
during the spanish conflict, the republic's fall was a hard blow for
Robert Jordan is everything the writer would have
liked to be, a man prepared to sacrifice his life for the cause in
which he strongly believes.