illustration of main character Robert Jordan wearing a fedora, half his face in shadow, and a pair of mountains in the background

For Whom the Bell Tolls

by Ernest Hemingway

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Bloom, Harold, ed. Ernest Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Although no essay in this collection deals exclusively with For Whom the Bell Tolls, the novel is mentioned in many of them. Of particular interest may be Robert Penn Warren’s discussion of irony in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Includes a good index.

Josephs, Allen. “For Whom the Bell Tolls”: Ernest Hemingway’s Undiscovered Country. New York: Twayne, 1994. Considers the literary and historical context for the novel and gives a detailed reading. An interesting and accessible discussion. Includes an excellent annotated bibliography.

Reynolds, Michael. “Ringing the Changes: Hemingway’s Bell Tolls Fifty.” Virginia Quarterly Review 67 (Winter, 1991): 1-18. In this good general reference, Reynolds presents the novel in historical context and suggests ways in which it can be seen to transcend its own time.

Rovit, Earl, and Gerry Brenner. Ernest Hemingway. Rev. ed. Boston: Twayne, 1986. Focuses on the totality of Hemingway’s fiction rather than on individual works. A useful and accessible source, with fairly detailed explication of For Whom the Bell Tolls. Also includes an index.

Sanderson, Rena, ed. Blowing the Bridge: Essays on Hemingway and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” New York: Greenwood Press, 1992. A collection of twelve essays that take a fresh look at Hemingway and his most neglected major novel. The introduction gives an overview of the novel’s composition and critical reception and offers a reassessment fifty years after publication.

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Essays and Criticism