For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Study of Psychology

For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Study of Psychology

Length: 1218 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
When many think of wars, the first thought that comes to mind is the land which was fought over and which side won. They never consider the psychological side effect soldiers endure during war. For many, this is the only side they see so there is no exposure except through writers such as Ernest Hemingway. In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway captivates the realism of war through his own eyes. Drawing from his own observation and experiences as an ambulance driver, Hemingway shows the psychological damage of war through the destruction of human lives, uncommitted relationships, and lack of confidence.
Hemingway’s novel is so true to his own that many consider For Whom the Bell Tolls an autobiographical piece of writing with different characters added in. These themes can be directly drawn from Hemingway's own "first hand of experience of violence" (Reynolds 23) in every major war in his lifetime as an ambulance driver and journalist. Being that Hemingway had been to every significant war in between World War I and World War II, Hemingway was no stranger to the cruelty of war and for this reason there is a strong influence of his own personal experiences with war. As Anselmo had lost many of his friends because of war, so did Ernest which had a dramatizing effect on him. Following his experiences, he had become shell-shocked. One of his most disturbing occurrences of war was when he "rode into the Fox Green sector of Omaha
Guerra 2
Beach in a landing craft" (Reynolds 23). From the minute he stepped a foot on the "already bloody battle ground" (Reynolds 23), Ernest was exposed to the "high physical and emotional costs of bodily wounds"(Reynolds 21) and paid the eternal price of this corrupting episode of hatred. Many women viewed him as "a womanizer who had no respect for women" (Reynolds 24) which can show the numbness of affection he acquired from war. Before he died, Hemingway had been married to five different women, all of which lasted less than ten years long. Many would suppose that he had a good heart but that all of his emotions had just been drained out of him by the sheer emotional strife of war. This numbness then turned into guilt. Looking to fix this depression, Hemingway was in and out of clinics the latter part of his life for "electroshock therapy" (Reynolds 21) but this last attempt by his last wife was two late.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Study of Psychology." 07 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Case Study: Ted Bundy Essay

- Theodore Robert Bundy was born Theodore Robert Cowell on November 24, 1949.His mother, Louise Cowell was unmarried at the time, and the name of his biological father has never been determined with certainty, however Lloyd Marshall was named on his birth certificate. Louise moved into her parent’s home shortly after Ted’s birth and allowed him to be raised as her ‘brother’ for quite some time. When Ted’s mother married Johnnie Culpepper Bundy in May 1951 in Tacoma, Washington, when Theodore was four years old, Theodore took his step-father’s last name of Bundy....   [tags: Case Study]

Research Papers
2277 words (6.5 pages)

Essay about Learning and Cognitive Perspectives in Psychology

- Many historians wondered great questions that would today be called psychological. Many wondered how a person processes information through their senses and transform this information to solve problems, and become motivated to act in significant ways. They wondered about the nature and whether or not it controls us or is it something we control ourselves. Like today’s psychologist historians wanted to describe, predict, understand, and modify behavior to increase the human knowledge and happiness....   [tags: behavior, conditioning, development]

Research Papers
1299 words (3.7 pages)

Changes in For Whom The Bell Tolls Essay

- Changes in For Whom The Bell Tolls The novel For Whom The Bell Tolls was primarily about Hemingway's changes through wartime. Hemingway reveals these ideas about war through the narrator's thoughts and through the interaction between the major characters. Hemingway shows that war brings about a personal change, that reveals much about man's individuality and that time is limited. Hemingway reveals much about the individuality of men and the singularity of the code through the relationship of Robert Jordan and Maria....   [tags: For Whom the Bell Tolls Essays]

Research Papers
1115 words (3.2 pages)

Themes and Characters in For Whom the Bell Tolls Essay

- Themes and Characters in For Whom the Bell Tolls For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, is a contemporary novel about the realities of war. The novel is wrought with themes of life and stark direct writing. The characterization in the story is what comprises the intricacy of the underlying themes within the tale. The story itself is not complex, but the relationships of the characters with the environment and with each other coupled with Hemingway's command of description and understanding make the novel as a whole, increasingly developed....   [tags: For Whom the Bell Tolls Essays]

Research Papers
884 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls

- In Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, the recurring images of the horse and the airplane illustrate one of the major themes of the novel. The novel's predominant theme is the disintegration of the chivalric order of the Old Spanish World, as it is being replaced by the newer technology and ideology of the modern world. As a consummate artist, Hemingway, in a manner illustrating the gothic quality of his work, allows the bigger themes of For Whom the Bell Tolls to be echoed in the smaller units....   [tags: For Whom the Bell Tolls]

Research Papers
1676 words (4.8 pages)

Essay Conflicts in Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls

- Conflicts in Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls           Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is often called a war novel, but it would be more accurate to call it a novel about conflicts-the many conflicts that take place within a war. The most fundamental conflict of any war is the struggle between life and death. This struggle is mirrored in the relationship between Robert Jordan and Maria. Jordan is depicted as the coldly rational soldier whose wartime work always comes first, but Maria is portrayed as a personification of the natural abundance of the living world....   [tags: For Whom the Bell Tolls Essays]

Research Papers
1917 words (5.5 pages)

Disillusionment In Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls Essay

- Disillusionment in Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls In the late 1930's, Spain was in the midst of a civil war. The country had been in a state of disarray since 1931, when King Alfonso XIII went into voluntary exile. This was followed by a five-year power struggle between the fascists, led by General Francesco Franco, and the Republicans. This struggle became violent in the summer of 1936, and the war lasted until 1939, when Franco's forces triumphed. (Thomas 600) Ernest Hemingway's 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls tells the story of Robert Jordan and his Republican comrades as they resist the fascists in the fall of 1937....   [tags: Hemingway Bell Tolls]

Free Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)

For Whom the Bell Tolls Speech

- Good afternoon/morning ladies and gentlemen. Today I will be talking about a classic novel by Ernest Hemmingway called For Whom the Bell Tolls written in 1940. The story is about a young American called Robert Jordan, who is with the anti-fascist guerilla team in the Spanish Civil War. Robert’s special skill involves the use of explosives, and in the book his mission is to destroy a bridge, so others can attack a city called Segovia. A classic novel and genre is something that can be related to modern life, as soon as it does not relate, it usually stops being a classic....   [tags: Ernest Hemmingway]

Free Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about For Whom The Bell Tolls

- Part II The title For Whom the Bell Tolls symbolizes the uncertainty of life and destiny, where the main character in this story finds himself in a series of unpredictable situations that are beyond his control. The only certain event in life is death and knowing that this may happen to anyone at any time, renders the protagonist powerless against destiny, which he approaches with a fatalistic disposition. Part III For Whom the Bell Tolls takes place in Spain, during the bloody civil war, between the years of 1938 and 1942....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
813 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on For Whom The Bell Tolls

- The Disillusionment of Hemingway with War Hemingway uses certain repetitive themes and ideas in his book, For Whom the Bell Tolls, which relate to the grander dogma that he is trying to teach. By using these reoccurring ideas, he is able to make clear his views on certain issues and make the reader understand his thoughts. The most notable of this reoccurring theme is that of war. Hemingway uses the war concept as paradoxical irony in this book, to tell the reader what the thinks about war. It is even more interesting to note that rather than this theme being derived from this war theme, the book is derived from this main theme....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
837 words (2.4 pages)

Related Searches

A week after being released from his clinic, he layed in his bed and used "his favorite shotgun to take his own life” (Reynolds 12).
Although Robert Jordan was not sheltered from the loss of human lives, Hemingway focuses mostly on the characters that were born and raised in Spain because they had been exposed to the reality of war much longer than foreign soldiers had. This thought can be proven by Pablo and Anselmo. Anselmo had many firsthand experiences with killing innocent civilians such as when he watched a civilian insult the enemy soldiers. As a response to this action, the soldiers “clubbed him to death” (Hemingway 122). He also had seen wooden pitch forks turn “red and with their tines broken” (Hemingway 137) during the Segovia massacres. These massacres had no stopping themselves. No matter what the gender or age, the enemy soldiers had “a natural bent for
Guerra 3
killing and cruelty” (Baker 83) much like Pablo did. Pablo was known for having no emotions towards the people he had killed but for the same reason he becomes nearly mad. For Pablo, the loss of human lives makes him become silent of what he has experienced which does not help the situation. This eventually haunts his daily life by the vivid memories of the innocent people he killed playing over and over again in his head. He remembers feeling” weak in the stomach and “holding the pistol” (Hemingway) in his hand while gazing at all the dead bodies on the ground. For many of the men, losing their comrades or friends meant also loosing their mind. In the novel, Agustin is so hungry to kill the enemy and receive revenge that he becomes such as “a mare in the corral waiting for the stallions” (Hemingway 309).
The emotional costs of war are evident in all the three themes but the most evident cost is shown by the relationships through the course of the novel. For some reason, relationships in For Whom the Bell Tolls can be described as reaching “their full development almost at the moment of their first meeting” (Baker 81). These short lasting relationships can most likely occur due to the viciousness of war but there is also a trust issue at hand. Many soldiers are “assigned the task of great difficulty and danger “of completing missions no matter what the odds and predicament. One way to prevent disaster, as a soldier in war, is to complete the task needed to be fulfilled without any help from anyone. Nonetheless this thought causes a disaster in itself and causes an excess number of people that have “turned on themselves” (Hemingway 148) during a period when comrades should be bonding to get through the harsh times. This train of thought appears to show up with the relationship between Maria and Robert Jordan. Even
Guerra 4
when Robert’s “head is clear, properly clear” he begins to “start to worry” (Hemingway 328) whether or not she is suitable enough to marry. No matter how well he feels toward
Maria there is some form of block that will not allow him to become anymore emotionally attached to her than just being lovers. He is so nervous that he continuously debates himself about loving Maria. Robert achieves this by determining whether or not he is “lucky enough to ever” (Hemingway 328) experience true love.
With everything surrounding the soldiers of the Spanish Civil War many loose their confidence along with their materials and people. This loss of confidence makes nearly the entire band of soldiers question their duties but the questions are all in their own severity. While Robert confesses that he would never” kill a proprietor of any kind” (Hemingway 46) Anselmo questions whether all “killing is a sin” (Baker 83) no matter the justification. He also thinks that in Spain killing is “done too lightly and often without true necessity” (Hemingway 216) which is very demoralizing. With all of these inquisitions about killing and injustice in the soldier’s thoughts, many start to feel guilt sink in. Guilt can come in many forms for soldiers but for Pablo guilt comes in the form of intense recollections. He goes through stages where he can still “hear the pistol still, sharp, and yet muffled” and “the head of the man drop forward” (Hemingway 112).
Although Ernest never truly served as a soldier, he still came in contact with the three themes of this novel. Without his knowledge of war, Hemingway would have never lived up to the realness of For Whom the Bell Tolls. His experiences are present and one can see it through the whole novel. Drawing from his own observation and experiences as

Guerra 5
an ambulance driver, Hemingway shows the psychological damage of war through the destruction of human lives, uncommitted relationships, and lack of confidence.
Return to