The Hemingway Bibliography


Probability of Success

Document Type



Hawkins, Ty and Andrew Kim. "Probability of Success." In Just War Theory and Literary Studies, 85-105. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.


Chapter analyzes a question relating to Just War Theory-should the U.S. go to war with North Korea? As a literary study, it focuses on lessons about limited wars (as opposed to total wars and the "mirage" of "doing nothing") that might be learned in For Whom the Bell Tolls, inviting comparisons to novels discussed in the previous chapter by Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds, 2012) and Tim O'Brien (Going After Cacciato, 1978). Examines the role of the Catholic church during the Spanish Civil War, the complicated idea of self-sacrifice in war (see, as Hemingway did, Horace's Odes and Wilfred Owens's Dulce et Decorum Est), and apparent dichotomies about killing expressed by Hemingway's characters. Concludes that Hemingway presciently understood, via Robert Jordan, the intellectual and moral cost of going to war: "For Hemingway, when we keep in view that the act of killing, even when necessary, is sinful, we preserve the possibility of a just peace."

Published in

Just War Theory and Literary Studies





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