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No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
John Donne, quoted in the Epigraph

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway, first published in 1940, set in the Spanish Civil War. It is one of his most famous and beloved works, and was inspired by his work as a journalist during that conflict.

The story, which plays out over four days and three nights, is centred around Robert Jordan - no, not that Robert Jordan - an American volunteer fighting on the side of the Republicans. His mission is to blow up a bridge in preparation for an offensive against the Nationalists, and to this purpose he enlists the help of a small band of partisans in the hills nearby. He quickly begins an affair and falls in love with a girl called Maria, who has been freed from the captivity of the Fascists a few months prior.

In the days before he carries out this task, we get to know many of the other characters that he meets. Pablo is the leader of the band, but the relationship between him and his men is strained to say the least, and his reliability is repeatedly called into question. His wife Pilar is The Heart of the group, and acknowledged as the de facto leader. An elderly man named Anselmo is Robert Jordan's guide, and while he is averse to killing people out of principle, his loyalty and local knowledge make him a valuable asset. A number of Pablo's men are also introduced and make a lasting impression.

Over the short time in the company of these people, Jordan makes his preparations for the demolition (which can only be carried out at the last minute), has some skirmishes with the Nationalist forces and gets much of his companions' backstory in the form of flashbacks. The general themes of the novel, derived both from the main storyline and the flashbacks, include the horrors of war, but also the nature of love and companionship.


Tropes exhibited in this novel include:

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