Saturday, March 26, 2011

For Whom the Bell Tolls By Earnest Hemmingway


Robert Jordan is an american professor who enlists in the spanish republican army during the spanish civil war. He is sent by General Golz to meet with a group of guerrilla fighters in the mountains. His task is to wait until the general's attack starts and then blow up a fascist controlled bridge. Jordan meets with the guerrillas and finds that many have become lazy and no longer wish to fight. Many are completely opposed to blowing the bridge because it means that they will be discovered and would force them to move from their hideout. A schism forms within the group with The band's leader, Pablo on one side and Jordan and Pablo's wife on the other. An argument occurs in which Jordan almost shoots Pablo but eventually things get calm and the group goes to bed. The next day, Jordan and Pablo's wife Pilar go to speak to a neighboring group of guerrillas led by a man named El Sordo. They agree to help blow the bridge and suggest that they can get some horses for the attack. As they return to camp, it begins snowing. They return to find Pablo drunk. He begins provoking Jordan and arguing about the bridge. Again Robert is prepared to kill Pablo, this time, however, he learns that he has the entire band on his side and that no one believes Pablo is still a good leader. Pablo leaves before Robert gets the nerve to kill him. Several minutes later he returns saying that he no longer wants to lead and that his wife, Pilar should. The group then turns in for the night again. The next morning Jordan wakes up to a Fascist patrol walking through the camp. He kills the man and realizes that El Sordo had tried to steal horses from the Fascist camp and were followed into the mountain by their tracks in the snow. The group gets ready for a large scale battle but the patrols pass by and attack El Sordo. Jordan realizes that neither group stands a chance so they must hide and watch as all of Sordo's men are killed. When the battle is over Jordan attempts to prepare for the next days battle with even less men than he thought. And to make matters worse, Pablo has left with the dynamite needed to blow the bridge. That night, however, Pablo returns with another neighboring band of guerrillas. The battle begins early in the morning, and Jordan has no problem blowing the bridge. Though he does lose a few men. During their retreat Jordan is on a horse. A bullet hits the ground near him and his horse falls on and breaks his leg. He tells the group to leave him. He sits alone contemplating suicide and waiting for the Fascists to find him. Several feet away he sees a Fascist officer. He takes aim, and the novel ends.

1. Robert Jordan is an american who has never lived in Spain. Would you ever fight for a country other that your own just because you believed in the principles of that country?

2. Robert is told by the general that he is essentially on a suicide mission. Would you ever go on a mission like his knowing that you were most likely going to fail and possibly be killed?

15 comments:

Joe K. 11-12 said...

No I would never fight for a country other than my own. Although some violations of peoples principles may spark an initiative to make a difference, I still would never go as far as to fight. This is simply because my loyalty is to my own country and everything else is second. I dont feel as though I would ever risk my own life for people that wouldnt risk their own lives for me.

Eric Y 13-14 said...

For question one, if the American government believed that another country's protection was very important then I would believe in fighting for another country.

For two, once again if it was part of my own country's purpose to help Spain, then I would try to make the mission a success but if we were mercenaries then I don't think I would risk my life.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

1) I would never fight for another country other than my own. To me, that shows disloyalty and disrespect to ones country. This is unacceptable because one should always put their country first before another.

tyler k 13-14 said...

I would never fight for a country's sake, only my own so I guess if the situation rendered itself to violence, I would fight for my own as well as anyone else's well being regardless where I am.

Brad S 11-12 said...

1. I think that one's personal beliefs should go before nationalism. You should stand up for what you believe in, even if that's a different country's policies. Fighting for something you don't believe in just makes you fake.

David G. 13-14 said...

I don't think I could fight for another country even if their principles were similar to my own. I think that fighting for your home country is a way of showing respect and appreciation for what the country does for you.

JessieW 11-12 said...

2). I don't think I would ever be able to go on a mission knowing I would fail and die. If I was going to fail, what is the point of even doing the mission. I'd rather risk my life for something productive.

Jacob B 11-12 said...

I agree with brad. Just because you fight for another country doesn't mean that you are disloyal to your own. If you believe in what another stands for and see they need help you should help.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, I agree with Brad. I also think that one's personal beliefs should come before nationalism. Obviously it is undoubtedly very important to have loyalty and admiration for one's own country; however if a problem arises in another country that violates something that a person strongly believes in, I think that it is the person's duty to his or herself to first and foremost stand up for his or her beliefs. If one is not loyal to his or her own beliefs, why should that be any different than being disloyal to one's country? Additionally, I do not think that it would be disloyal for one to fight for a cause in another country as long as the conflict would not interfere with one's home country. Also, the question wasn't choosing between fighting for one's own country or fighting for another country at the same exact moment in time but rather the question was just would you be willing to fight for another country in order to stand up for your beliefs, and I believe that it is necessary to do so.

James F (11-12) said...

1. i would never fight for another country for one main reason...i dont think the country i live in is worth fighting for. thats why i hate the fact that i had to sign up for the selective service.
2. no i would not go on a mission like this. unless of course it was a mission to save someone i loved or for like something else.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

1. I feel that whether it is ones country or not, they should try to get their beliefs across. If one country is affected by a person fighting for their beliefs, then maybe other countries will follow too.
2. It all depends on what situatin my life is in a the time. If I had a famiyl and kids at home I would prpbably not take on the chalenge. I would only go on the mission most likely if it ment saving the life of someone very close to me.

Jacob B 11-12 said...

I would have to disagree with you jimmy. If I felt strongly enough about something I would agree to a mission like his even if others told me I stand no chance

Sydney C.13-14 said...

1. I would consider fighting for another country other than my own if I strongly believed in their mission. However, I would never fight against my home country, so if this situation presented itself, I would not fight for either side.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Graded

Jacob B 11-12 said...

Nope. You only got me once on here.