For Whom the Bell Tolls

Bravery and Altruism: Coming to Terms with Mortality in For Whom The Bell Tolls 11th Grade

Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls is a narrative about a young combatant and expert dynamiter, Robert Jordan, fighting with the anti-fascists in Spain during the civil battles. The main leitmotif explored in For Whom the Bell Tolls is mortality. The story which revolves around the violence of war explores death in different angles, but the central subject is each key character faces or comes to terms with their own death or others. During his assignment to destroy the target site, Robert meets Anselmo who is the guide and intercessor between him and the guerrilla rebel soldiers. His quest, however, clashes with the reluctance and aggression of the rebel leader Pablo to take on a mission that will imperil his troop. Pilar, Pablo’s wife who does not agree with his husband stance on the operation, arrogates leadership and supports Robert’s mission. They gain more support from El Sordo, the leader of another rebel camp however they are later delimited and killed by fascist troops. The guerilla leaders all contemplate their own deaths individually, as their plan experiences obstacles and setbacks all through. Each of the key characters is faced with dilemmas and choices through the assignment, that either prompts bravery or...

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