Relationships through War Between People Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

Ernest Hemingway was American novelist and short-story writer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. One of his novels is For Whom the Bell Tolls. In this story he discusses the Spanish Civil War, that took place in the 1930’s. In Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, he characterizes two very different couples in the Spanish Civil War, Maria and Robert Jordan and Pablo and Pilar. Hemingway wants the readers to see how Pablo and Pilar’s toxic relationship contributes to the novel and is reflective of the civil war.

Pablo is the leader of the group of guerrilla men in the mountains. He is often sullen and defensive, and most of his men no longer respect him. Pablo is also the husband to Pilar. Despite his negative characteristics, Pablo is not an evil man. Although he is brutal and stubborn, Pablo has a good conscience and always wants what is best. He has one main goal throughout the novel, for the war to end and to live a peaceful life with his wife and horses.

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So, even though he is rough, stubborn, and lazy, he means well.

Pilar is a woman in her fifties who is considered ugly, but is extremely funny, has a tendency to insult the guerrillas with foul language, and is clearly the real leader of the group. Pilar is almost as wide as she is tall, with a ‘monumental’ face and a deep booming voice. She likes to make jokes, and can stand up to anyone, especially Pablo.

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Rafael, a gypsy, admits that she is “a hundred times braver than Pablo”(Hemingway 26). He also says that she is “something barbarous”(Hemingway 26).This personality depiction tells us that Pilar is fearless, especially when it comes to her husband.

Hemingway describes both Pablo and Pilar as having rugged traits that contribute to their flawed relationship. Their relationship symbolizes the challenges of the war because the war has brought destruction and ruin among all who are inflicted, much like Pablo and Pilar. “From one year of war though as become lazy, a drunk yard coward.”(Hemingway 55). This negative description of Pablo has shown us that he has become a drunken, lazy, coward. Hemingway shows us that during the war Pablo and Pilar’s relationship has weakened. Pilar now feels that because of the war she has lost both her relationship and her husband. This sense of loss allows us to understand that war can turn kind, honest people to having toxic and dysfunctional relationships. The war has dramatically changed both Pilar and Pablo.

Hemingway writes about the toxic relationship that Pablo and Pilar share. Ever since the beginning, Pilar and Pablo’s relationship was tense by their different views of destroying a bridge in the mountains. When Pilar announces that she is “for the Republic,” she supports Robert Jordan’s plan to blow up the bridge. Pablo is not fond of Robert Jordan, and feels that he is a threat to himself and the guerrillas. Therefore he would not be happy to find out that his own wife has sided with Jordan. After learning this Pablo angrily calls her, with a “head of a seed bull and a heart of a whore”(Hemingway 53). This sense of strength and anger shows us that Pablo is temperamental, and has very strong beliefs. The short temper that Pablo exhibits, shows that Pablo and Pilar disagree on one of the strongest things holding them together, their beliefs. Pilar is “For the Republic” and Pablo is strongly against it. This conflict continues to strain their relationship and it makes the guerillas lose faith in Pablo as their leader. He becomes uncertain and fearful.

Faced with Pablo’s impulsive and uncertain behavior, “the woman of Pablo could feel her rage changing to sorrow and to a feeling of the thwarting of all hope and promise.” (Hemingway 58) This feeling of sorrow shows that Pilar and Pablo used to agree with each other and were once connected. Pablo now no longer feels the same way that Pilar does. Pilar tells Robert Jordan about Pablo’s heroic defeat of the fascists in his hometown. She describes him as brave and brutal. The Pablo she knows now, is defeated and “cowardly,” (Hemingway 54) lacking all hope. The love she seemingly shares for him, even though they have many conflicts, is still not enough to awaken his courage. Pilar’s relationship with Pablo shows that love cannot cure hopelessness, fear in the face of war and inevitable disaster and ruin.

In March of 1937 , only a year after the Spanish Civil War had started Hemingway traveled to Spain to observe the war firsthand. He did this so that he could report the events to the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA). Over the course of his time in Spain he penned 31 dispatches. Hemingway’s experiences during the civil war provided for one of his most famous novels For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). The novel discusses real events that took place during the Spanish civil war. Hemingway was well known for his short-stories and novels. His overall achievement as a writer was acknowledged when he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.


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