For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway

I didn’t think much of For Whom the Bell Tolls at first, but it pulled me in and left me heartbroken.

Somehow, with sparse descriptions and repetitive words, he made me feel the love between Maria and Robert with a clarity that made me feel sick for them. He made me despise Pablo and respect Pilar and feel a warm fondness toward Fernando. Robert Jordan is the only one I didn’t feel much about, but maybe that was intentional. Maybe he represented the everyman of every war.

I think there is something to be learned from this writing style. Somehow, such vivid and painful images are painted so clearly with such simple words and unadorned phrasing. The more time I have to think about this, the more I want to read another of his books.



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