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John Donne vs Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls was said to be one of the most famous
books that came out of the Spanish Civil War. This book as been said to have served as a
prelude to the devastation of World War II because it freed the world united against Fascism.
The novel shows humanity’s great capacity for hope or despair, which is portrayed through two
contrasting characters, Anselmo who is devoted,and Pablo, who is brutish. This literary work is
realistic and the title was quoted from John Donne’s Meditation 17, ... “Any man’s death
diminishes me, beacause I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send know for whom
the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” The main character in the novel is Robert Jordan who is an
American fighting with Spanish Loyalists. Robert’s character feels like an alien in his setting
and disoriented. He symbolizes the best of the American dream by giving up his reputation, the
good life, and security. Robert is a talkative, moody, and lifeless. In the novel, Jordan falls in
love with Maria. She does not live a very interesting life and described as a very gentle person.
Her main concern in life is to please Robert as if he is almost a master. The “bad guy” of the
story is Pablo. He is viewed in the rumors during the time of war. Robert depends on Pablo for
attack plans and escape routes,which shows a reverse trait on both men. The story begins with
Robert and a guide hiking through the mountains. Jordan planned to make contact with a
guerilla band led by Pablo, and Pilar, his wife. Jordan destroyed bridges to secure attack. Jordan
and Maria fall in love during a mission. El Sordo agreed to help with a mission to blow up the
bridge and secure horses to help the escape. El Sordo and his men were later killed by the Fascist
bombers. As Jordan slept, Pablo, stole and destroyed all of Robert’s weapons. Jordan and his
guide, Anselmo, killed the guards of the bridge and then destroyed it with dynamite. Jordan
found Pablo and forced him to admitting that he himself had killed the other guerrillas for their
horses. Robert then crossed the bridge last as the Fascist troops had their tanks and bullets came
after him. He told Maria of his love for her and layed next to her with his crushed leg and later
died. Rather than dying in vain, he had his submachine gun at his side. He took aim at the
leading Fascist officer who was near, and shot him. Hemingway developed the theme of John
Donne by portraying that the destiny of all human beings was bound up in the Spanish Civil War.
Ernest and John both believed that each man exists bound intimately to the fate of his or her
neighbor. They also thought that every human is a neighbor who can’t be ignored if he or she
suffers or dies.
Nunc lento sonitu dicunt, Morieris, (Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me,
Thou must die.) from John Donne’s Meditation 17. In his long serious essay, he states that “All
mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of
the book, but translated into a better language, and every chapter must be so translated.” These
ideas found in the essay surface in Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. Both writers
believed that a man’s fate is shared by his neighbor and that he can’t be ignored if he or she is
suffering or dying. Hemingway’s novel included the sacrifice of one’s reputation for his
neighbors, the love of another neighbor, and the end of his “translation”.
Ernest Hemingway’s style of writing was forged but became to be original. His prose
was made of a collection of short, strong, sonorous sentences. His writing always contained
heros that were men broken by the world. The women were strong yet weak and always
described as beautiful. Hemingway was best known for describing courage. Ernest found
writing tips from the King James Bible, the deceased Mark Twain, and Stephan Crane. After
finding his own original style, he developed a power in simplicity and poetry in the everday speech. Hemingway finally made sense of the usual adjective filled works of
John Donne’s keen mind led to powerful sermons, both in the church and in his literary
works. One of his religious
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Literature, American literature, Fiction, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, Pilar, Ernest Hemingway bibliography, The Sun Also Rises
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