For Whom the Bell Tolls – Essay Topics (Day 2)

Rough draft of essays due January 30.  Final draft due February 3.

  1. Describe the character of Robert Jordan and how it changes during the course of the novel.
  2. How does Robert Jordan prove he is a typical Hemingway Code Hero (see below)?
  3. How does the reader sense the tragic end of the novel before it happens?
  4. Discuss the theme of disillusionment in the novel with reference to the characters that are disenchanted with the war.
  5. Discuss four different death scenes that occur or are described in the novel. How does each of them affect Jordan?
  6. Explain how the supernatural theme is developed in the novel.
  7. Discuss the use of irony in the novel, giving specific examples.

Hemingway created a new type of character in his novels. This character appealed to the readers of the 1920s, when Hemingway first became popular. Many of the readers were able to identify with this hero, although sometimes as a fantasy portrayal of what the typical male wanted to be or do.  Usually a male character, he was portrayed as a real “man’s man.” In time, this character became known as the “code hero.”

The Hemingway Code Hero:

a. Is a man of action, not talk

b. Believes that death is the total end of life

c. Lives a life full of pleasure

d. Has courage and shows grace under pressure

e. Will often stay awake at night and sleep during the day

f. Values order and self-discipline

g. Controls his emotions

h. Is very skillful at some work

i. Often dislikes people who do not possess self-discipline or competence

j. Is loyal to a small group of people



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