A Clash of Certainties, Old and New: For Whom the Bell Tolls and the Inner War of Ernest Hemingway
Argues that the novel’s complex representation of war as abhorrent yet sometimes justified reflects Hemingway’s conflicted view. Asserts that while Hemingway’s play, The Fifth Column, reveals his ideological shift from apolitical isolationism to support for the Spanish Loyalists, it also marks a stagnancy in the author’s artistic development. Reads “Night Before Battle” as Hemingway’s return to his pacifist mentality a year later. Interprets Pilar’s story of the Loyalist movement’s violent beginning and Jordan’s poignant death scene in For Whom the Bell Tolls as a unification of these paradoxical political positions.