Ernest Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls": summary, characters
readers have always been fascinated by the relevance of the topic, the fascination of the plot and the complexity of the issues raised. The characters depicted in such works are striking in their effectiveness, psychology and realism.
Ernest Hemingway's novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is considered to be the most common among works of war. According to one official study by a respected French magazine, he ranks eighth among a select hundred of the most outstanding books of the twentieth century.
What kind of novel is “For Whom the Bell Tolls”? A summary of the work will be submitted in this article. We will also learn about the history of writing and film adaptation of the book. But first, let's learn a little about its author.
E. M. Hemingway and his books
The author of the novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was born in the USA in 1899.He was an outstanding man who lived a bright rich life full of adventures and heroic deeds.
As a writer and journalist, Hemingway traveled half the world, visited the hottest spots and made contact with many prominent personalities. Therefore, everything that this talented person wrote about is not just a figment of the imagination of a typical inhabitant or amateur. Each line of his writings is the result of deep conclusions based on experience and real events experienced and passed through the heart.
The writing style of the writer is concise and vivid, very concrete and realistic. His characters come to life in the imagination and find a response in the heart of millions of readers.
Biography of the writer
After graduation, the future writer worked as a police reporter, went to all sorts of incidents, got acquainted with the life of street thugs, prostitutes, scammers, and so on.
Then the First World War began, to which the young man volunteered, as he was not taken to the front because of poor vision. There he knew the full horror of the fighting, was seriously wounded, after which he returned to his homeland as a hero.
Then Hemingway began to seriously engage in literary activities, for which even made a difficult journey through Africa.
The Spanish Civil War touched the man’s courageous heart, and he asked to go there on a business trip. Subsequently, under the impression of what he saw in those difficult years for the whole world, Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (a summary of the novel will be given in this material).
The Second World War also did not leave the writer indifferent. He organized a counterintelligence group, participated in the bombing of Germany and other military operations.
In the postwar period, the writer traveled extensively and fruitfully throughout the world, actively working in the literary business.
The last years of his life, Hemingway suffered from paranoia, underwent horrendous treatment several times in psychiatric clinics, and tried to commit suicide.
The writer succeeded in one of such attempts - he was not in the summer of 1961.
Why is Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Toll? Let's find out.
The first date of publication of the work - 1940.At the height of the Second World War, the topic of the struggle against fascism became more urgent than ever. And although the author has repeatedly stated that everything written is a figment of his imagination, now literary researchers believe that in some places the book describes real events and people. For example, some believe that the main character of the work is the literary image of Kirill Prokofyevich Orlovsky, an employee of the NKVD, Hero of the USSR and head of the partisan movement.
Another interesting fact is that the writer gave one of the central heroes (Soviet demolition man Kashkin) the name of a person whose work was highly respected. He was a translator and literary critic from the Soviet Union, Ivan Alexandrovich Kashkin.
What events are described in the book "For Whom the Bell Tolls"? The plot of the work will be discussed below.
Dangerous and responsible task
Summary "For Whom the Bell Tolls" takes the modern reader to the far difficult years - the revolutionary movement in Spain, where the Republican people, supported by the USSR and Mexico, rose up to fight fascism in the person of Franco.
Events in the work begin to unfold,when young Robert Jordan (American by birth), gets a task from the rebel center to blow up a bridge that has strategic importance in the upcoming attack.
At the disposal of the bomber is a partisan detachment of a certain Pablo, the once brave and passionate rebel. However, over time, the Spaniard became rich and lost its former enthusiasm. He refuses to help Jordan, because he understands that half of his guys may not return from the mission.
How to be a young demolition man?
Meet bold women
On the side of Robert becomes the wife of Pablo - Pilar, 50, a gypsy by nationality, but a patriot in spirit. She encourages the detachment of her husband to speak with Jordan and show courage for the sake of the fatherland. Fearless gypsy is elected commander of a partisan detachment.
However, Pilar is not the only woman among the underground workers. Recently, a pretty girl has been nailed to the detachment, whose life was crippled by the war. Her parents were brutally murdered, and the Nazis cruelly abused her.
Gypsy, taking care of Maria, tries to help her forget those terrible events and overcome tragic memories.She sees that relationships are established between young people, and pushes them to each other. Pilar realizes that a true feeling will heal Maria’s withered soul, and Robert, who is to die in the performance of his mission, will give the last earthly happiness.
Maria and Jordan penetrate each other mutual passion and tenderness and become close.
The conversation that took place between Pilar and Robert on the road to El Sordo, another partisan commander, is the central dialogue of the entire work. He raises deep and serious questions on which, unfortunately, it is impossible to give a definite answer.
Pilar recalls how Republicans brutally punished local fascists and even killed a priest during the execution of the service. Such cruelty and hatred of the common people towards their fellows will not lead to anything good. The fratricidal war unfolding in Spain generates only suffering, pain and death.
Jordan, in turn, recalls why he volunteered for republican troops. Spain for him is the second homeland, he is deeply concerned about the fate of the locals, and he sincerely hates the Nazi ideology.
What preceded the fighting?
Further, the novel describes the actions of Robert taken to implement the mission entrusted to him. He asks for help from the detachment of El Sordo, but suddenly the snow that fell out ruins the whole thing. The fascists discover the underground fighters and kill them, and Jordan and Pablo’s squad hear the battle and cannot come to the rescue — if they find themselves, the whole plan to undermine the bridge may fail.
Robert's position is also aggravated by the fact that on the eve of the offensive, Pablo escapes, taking with him a box of explosives. After a while, he returns, because he cannot sit in a safe place, knowing that his friends and comrades are risking their lives for their common goal.
The climax of the novel
Giordano managed to blow up the bridge. He completed the task. However, many partisans die, and the demolition man himself is seriously wounded. He persuades Maria to leave him, assuring that only if she leaves, can they truly be together.
When all friends leave Robert, he is left alone with a machine gun. An enemy goes to meet him, and Jordan is ready to kill at least one more fascist at the cost of his own life.
At this novel ends.
We have read the summary of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.
The main images of the work
As you can see, the novel is replete with bright extraordinary characters. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is not an ordinary book about military exploits. It exposes not only the cruelty of the fascist ideology, but also the unreasonableness of a fratricidal war. In the work, the author shows that on the one and the other side there are ordinary people who also fight for a high idea, are also afraid for their lives, and also do not want to kill others.
Every thought of the novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is saturated with this thought. Robert Jordan on his last night also reflects on the absurdity of the struggle that the Spaniards are waging with each other. Yet this brave, fearless man tries not to think that there are ordinary people among the fascists. He understands that fascism is an evil that needs to be eradicated.
An interesting and distinctive hero appears before the readers and Pablo. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" depicts this man, once fearless and courageous, as mercantile and weak. But a man is not capable of betrayal. Yielding to the momentary impulse and momentary weakness, he leaves the squad to return and serve with redoubled power the newly-found ideals.
The film "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
Three years after the publication of the novel was filmed. The film was shot in the USA by a talented director and producer Sam Wood.
Such famous actors as:
- Gary Cooper (winner of three Oscars, one of which is for his overall contribution to the development of American cinema). Role - Robert Jordan.
- Ingrid Bergman (Swedish and American actress, winner of three Oscars). The role is Maria.
- Katina Paksino (Greek and American actress, who received the coveted statuette for her role in this film adaptation). Her character is Pilar.
- Akim Tamirov (American actor of Armenian origin, winner of the Golden Globe for his role in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”). His character is Pablo.
The motion picture was nominated for an Oscar in eight nominations, but only Katina Paksino received the prestigious award.