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Free Study Guide-For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway-BookNotes
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1. Describe the character of Robert Jordan and how it changes during the course of the novel. How does he prove he is a typical Hemingway Code Hero?

2. Compare and contrast Jordan and Pablo. How does the reader sense the tragic end of the novel before it happens?

3. Discuss the theme of disillusionment in the novel with reference to the characters who are disenchanted with the war.

4. Discuss the significance of Anselmo to the novel. Discuss the significance of Maria to the novel.

5. Discuss the significance of Pilar to the novel.

6. Discuss four different death scenes that occur or are described in the novel. How does each of them affect Jordan?

7. Explain how the supernatural theme is developed in the novel. Discuss the use of irony in the novel, giving specific examples.

8. How is the novel unified into a whole?

9. Why is the novel a tragedy?

10. Discuss Hemingway's style in the novel.


The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.

In this study guide for a well-known piece of literature, we have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.

Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these booknotes will help you to accomplish that goal.

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