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The analysis of For Whom The Bell Tolls - Book Report/Review Example

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For Whom The Bell Tolls was written by Ernest Hemingway in 1940. It is the story of a protagonist called Robert Jordan, who faces internal and external conflicts. This essay examines the symbolism between Hemingway and Jordan. This thesis states that although there are many similarities between Hemingway and his male protagonist in For Whom The Bell Tolls, Jordan is not an autobiographical figure of Hemingway.
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The analysis of For Whom The Bell Tolls
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Download file to see previous pages Jordan is a loyal supporter of his guerilla fighter unit but his immediate commander falters in his commitment to the guerilla cause. Jordan is a specialist in explosives and he is willing to lay down his life in the cause of his duty. Hemingway was fiercely patriotic and wanted to join the direct line of fighting duty but was rejected due to health reasons. He felt more antagonized than ever and persisted to fulfill his fervent desire by joining the Red Cross Ambulance Corps during World War I. Hemingway's patriotism is reflected in Jordan's immense love and belief in fighting for his cause. Hemingway had first hand experience in the atrocities of explosives when he was assigned to clean up the human remains from an ammunitions factory that had exploded. This first official work at the Red Cross Ambulance Corps provided him with an everlasting impression of the dangers of explosives and he wrote his character Jordan based on this experience. Hemingway was infatuated with a nun cum nurse, Sister Agnes von Kurowsky, but he was jilted. He believed in positives and showed this basic principle by writing in a sustained love interest for Jordan. Although this novel is largely autobiographical in nature, he diverted from his factual account when it did not suit his personal philosophy of writing the positive aspects for the posterity of mankind. A Hemingway biographer writes in her book that; 'He created a public persona to match his prose, becoming the person he wanted to be.' (Wagner-Martin 15). This explained the symbolism of Jordan's love interest, Maria, as bringing positive aspects into Jordan's life. Jordan now has doubts about being a martyr. He wants to live and savor the ordinary life of a civilian. Hemingway experienced some success in his romantic love life as reflected in his several marriages. Perhaps Maria is one of his real life encounters and not representative of his failed relationship with Sister Agnes.
Hemingway's four marriages made some impressions on critics who drew symbolisms with his writings that criticized homosexuality. They argue that his failed heterosexual marriages were because of his own latent inability to function as the male partner. Some critics charge that Hemingway's harsh treatment of homosexuality is suspicious and might be a masquerade to hide his latent homosexuality. However, none of these allegations can be backed up by conclusive evidence. Hemingway 'challenged the mores of mainstream fiction and continued his lifelong insistence that there were no taboo words, no forbidden subjects.' (Wagner-Martin 15).
Some Hemingway scholars argue that his parents were dysfunctional. Wagner-Martin also wrote about Hemingway blaming his father's suicide on his mother. Although Hemingway's fiction challenged the social norms, he was a supporter of conventional codes. 'As Hemingway's character Robert Jordan says in For Whom The Bell Tolls about his parents, "He was just a coward and the worst luck any man could have. Because if he wasn't a coward he would have stood up to that woman and not let her bully him. " (339)'. (Wagner-Martin 129). Hemingway blamed his parents' unconventional deviations from the social gendered constructions for their deficiencies and his inherited problems with the same issues.
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