For Whom the Bell Tolls

The Flight of Chivalry

In Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, the recurring images of the horse and the airplane illustrate one of the major themes of the novel. The novel's predominant theme is the disintegration of the chivalric order of the Old Spanish World, as it is being replaced by the newer technology and ideology of the modern world. As a consummate artist, Hemingway, in a manner illustrating the gothic quality of his work, allows the bigger themes of For Whom the Bell Tolls to be echoed in the smaller units. He employs the tropes of the horse and the airplane to convey these larger themes, while at the same time using them to comment upon the complex relationship that exists between the Spaniards - Fascists and Communists, alike - and religion. Through a close reading, and through detailed references to the work, it is the purpose of this paper to examine the tropes of horses and planes, as they exist in For Whom the Bell Tolls, placing a special emphasis on religion.

The frequent occurrence of the images of the horse and the airplane is not purely accidental, for Hemingway is using these tropes to support his bigger theme. In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway uses the horse to represent the aristocratic hierarchy of the Old World...

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