Ernest Hemingway, the spokesman of the “lost generation”, was in favor of creating works with the theme of war, in expressing which For Whom the Bell Tolls was brought into reality.
As a war novel, it portrays an English dynamitor, the protagonist, who conducted his mission to explode the bridge located in Spain during World War II. Hemingway uses over 500 pages to tell the readers a story happened in four days, mixing the theme of war with love, antiwar sensation, complexity of humanity, struggle for faith, making a series of characters, e.g. the kind and loving Maria, the rude and bold Pilar, the Pablo with a slaughter nature and ambiguous will, the old Anselmo in whom Robert Jordan had a lot of trust, the timid Gypsy Rangel and so on.
Throughout the novel, it may be found that every man had no mood in the war, whether he was on the side of the Republic or the Fascists. The soldiers on both sides, most of whom were merely average citizens, had the common emotion as shared by every human being, they therefore were unwilling to shoot each other in the battlefield, and even if they finished the enemy all they could get was guilt and sorrow. War is the conspiracy launched by a few politicians with ambitions, and the bloody pit in which millions of lives are buried. The war starters are likely to fabricate a faith as the reason to fight, as a consequence, a great deal of young men answer the call to serve the army, for which a majority of them lost their lives, and their families suffer from the deaths, just as Maria did.
In the end, the destiny of Robert Jordan is concealed, and in terms of the result of the war, we have no clue. Maybe jordan would be beheaded as El Sordo, the leader of another band, by the Fascist soldiers, or he might be saved by other outside forces. At this point the author remains a puzzle. It was possible that he was too depressed to accept Jordan’s death, as well as any human being’s, for the war had ever grabbed millions of lives. So just as John Donne said,”Do not send to know for whom the bell tolls, the bell tolls for thee.”