For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway

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For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, was published in 1940. It is a novel set in the Spanish Civil War, which ravaged the country in the late 1930’s. Tensions in Spain began to rise as early as 1931,when a group of left-wing Republicans overthrew the country’s monarchy in a bloodless coup. The new Republican government then proposed controversial religious reforms that angered right-wing Fascists, who had the support of the army and the Catholic Church. Hemingway traveled extensively in Spain, and grew very interested in Spanish culture. Specifically, he writes about bullfighting, not only in this novel, but also in his other works as well. While Hemingway’s novels carry a common theme, For Whom the Bell Tolls is no different. In the form of suicide, inevitability of death, and sacrifice, death is the major theme that wraps around this story.
Many characters in For Whom the Bell Tolls say that they would prefer suicide to being tortured after becoming captured, or being a prisoner of war. In wartime, when someone is captured, they may be tortured so the enemy can get intell...

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