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Realism in For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway - Essay Example

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"Realism in For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway" paper describes realism which can be traced through every element of this novel as can be seen in characters such as Robert Jordan, events such as the rebellion of Pablo’s town and his use of language as he reflects the emotions of his characters…
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Realism in For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
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Download file to see previous pages “Broadly defined as ‘the faithful representation of reality’ or ‘verisimilitude,’ realism is a literary technique practiced by many schools of writing” (Campbell, 2007).   Although often associated with writing in the mid-1800s, Hemingway’s work retains many of the primary characteristics of the realist writing style including the concept that the character in all his strengths and weaknesses should be presented as he would exist, events are plausible and scenes are depicted inaccurately yet representative language.  According to William Harmon, “Where romanticists transcend the immediate to find the ideal, and naturalists plumb the actual or superficial to find the scientific laws that control its actions, realists center their attention to a remarkable degree on the immediate, the here and now, the specific action, and the verifiable consequence” (2002: 428).

In his portrayal, Robert Jordan is a definitive example of a realistic character. He is the main character of the novel and all action is seen through his eyes. He is depicted as an American Spanish teacher who used to work at a college in the United States and now works for the Loyalists as an explosives expert. His primary goal throughout the novel is to blow up a bridge at a specific moment so as to have the greatest effect upon the enemy Fascists. To accomplish this objective, he must sneak behind the enemy lines with the help of an old man and enlist the aid of Spanish guerrilla fighters in helping him to place the explosives. While the entire story revolves around this single event, Robert Jordan’s progress through this reveals not only the specific automaton behaviors he must adopt as a means of staying alive in his dangerous profession but also his human weaknesses in allowing personal emotions to carry him away. For example, although he tells the Comrade General Golz that he has “enough to think about without girls” (8), he also allows himself to become very distracted by Maria, “Every time Robert Jordan looked at her he could feel a thickness in his throat” (22). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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