Places Discussed


Bridge. Strategic target of the Republican offensive and the objective of Jordan’s mission. Pablo opposes the attack on the bridge because he knows that it will provoke retaliation by the fascists, but the other guerrillas eventually agree to support Jordan. Once the Republican bombardment begins, Jordan, with help from the guerrillas, destroys the bridge with explosives.


Comandancia. Headquarters of Commissar André Marty, a paranoid and demented old fanatic who delays the delivery to General Golz of Robert Jordan’s warning that the Republican attack is expected by the fascists.


Escorial. Site of the headquarters of Republican general Golz, who orders Jordan to blow up a bridge behind enemy lines.

La Granja

La Granja. Village near Pablo’s camp where the guerrillas obtain supplies and news.


Hilltop. Location where El Sordo and his men are trapped and finally killed by the fascists. The desperate courage of the guerrillas is futile in the face of the advanced weaponry brought against them in the form of the fascist airplanes.

Hotel Gaylord

Hotel Gaylord. Madrid building used as a headquarters by the Soviet agents who effectively control many aspects of the Republican struggle against the fascists. Jordan finds the Gaylord to be not only a place that...

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Historical Context

The Spanish Civil War
Civil war broke out in Spain in 1936, but the underlying causes can be traced back several years...

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Literary Style

Point of View
The novel presents the narrative through an omniscient point of view that continually shifts back and...

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Literary Techniques

Please see this section in the separate analysis of The Garden of Eden.

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Social Concerns

While reaction to For Whom the Bell Tolls in the highly charged political atmosphere of 1940 was sharply divided, and remains so to...

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Compare and Contrast

  • 1930s-1940s: The world experiences a decade of aggression in the 1930s that culminates in World War II. This second...

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Topics for Further Study

  • Watch the film version of For Whom the Bell Tolls. Do you think the film is dated? What scenes would you update for today’s...

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Literary Precedents

Perhaps the most famous of all epigraphs to a work of fiction, John Donne's poem sets the tone and establishes the theme of For Whom the...

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Related Titles

Hemingway's first important book, In Our Time (1925), displays great variety of technical experimentation and demonstrates the young...

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For Whom the Bell Tolls appeared in 1943, with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in the lead roles. Cooper, generally, may be the only...

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Media Adaptations

  • For Whom the Bell Tolls was adapted as a film by Sam Wood, with a screenplay by Dudley Nichols, starring Gary Cooper and...

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What Do I Read Next?

  • Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929) chronicles a doomed love affair between an American...

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Bibliography and Further Reading

Fiedler, Leslie A. Love and Death in the American Novel. Dell, 1960.

Nagel, James....

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