For Whom the Bell Tolls By Ernest Hemingway Study Help Essay Questions

1. How does Hemingway go about giving the reader information about his characters?

2. How does Hemingway give the members of the guerilla band distinct personalities?

3. Pablo has "gone bad." What does that mean? How is it shown? How does it affect Jordan?

4. How is Jordan's feeling for Maria shown? What makes the reader feel that it is really love?

5. How do Jordan's feelings about his father and grandfather affect him?

6. How are chapter lengths used to give emotional tone?

7. Why does Hemingway skip back and forth between Jordan and Andres in the last part of the book?

8. What is the effect on the reader of the delays encountered by Andres? What aspects of the war are brought out by this device?

9. Discuss several examples of Hemingway's theme of irony in the book.

10. Discuss the religious theme of the book as it is shown in Jordan. Anselmo? Joaquin?

11. Why did Hemingway include Pilar's tale of the atrocities committed by the Loyalists?

12. Discuss the development of Pilar's character. Of Pablo's.

13. How do the Spanish feel about the intervention of foreigners in their civil war?

14. Why is Kashkin mentioned so often? Why does Pilar bring up the subject of Kashkin in the scene at El Sordo's camp?

15. How does Hemingway weave premonitions of tragedy into the book? How do they affect the reader? Jordan?

16. How does Hemingway give the reader the feeling that the dialog is in Spanish? Would it make any difference in the effect of the book if this device had not been used? Why?

17. Discuss the characters in the book whose primary purpose seems to be to offer comic relief.

18. How does El Sordo treat Jordan in the book? What is the significance of this treatment? What does the reader know about El Sordo before his death?

19. Why does Hemingway make the fascists in the book human beings? How does he go about doing this?

20. Have Jordan's political convictions changed since the beginning of the war? Do they change in the period covered by the book? How? Why?

21. Why is Pilar's story of the bullfighter included in the book?

22. Discuss several reasons for Jordan's having come to Spain to fight in the civil war.

23. How are the airplanes used to deepen the emotional effect of the book?

24. How does Hemingway go about giving the reader information as to what sort of life the peasants led before the revolution?

25. Discuss two or more scenes in the book which show the importance of the individual. Discuss two or more scenes which show the importance of the Cause for which the Loyalists are fighting.

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