For Whom the Bell Tolls: a Study of Psychology

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When many think of wars, the first thought that comes to mind is the land which was fought over and which side won. They never consider the psychological side effect soldiers endure during war. For many, this is the only side they see so there is no exposure except through writers such as Ernest Hemingway. In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway captivates the realism of war through his own eyes. Drawing from his own observation and experiences as an ambulance driver, Hemingway shows the psychological damage of war through the destruction of human lives, uncommitted relationships, and lack of confidence. Hemingway's novel is so true to his own that many consider For Whom the Bell Tolls an autobiographical piece of writing with different characters added in. These themes can be directly drawn from Hemingway's own "first hand of experience of violence" (Reynolds 23) in every major war in his lifetime as an ambulance driver and journalist. Being that Hemingway had been to every significant war in between World War I and World War II, Hemingway was no stranger to the cruelty of war and for this reason there is a strong influence of his own personal experiences with war. As Anselmo had lost many of his friends because of war, so did Ernest which had a dramatizing effect on him. Following his experiences, he had become shell-shocked. One of his most disturbing occurrences of war was when he "rode into the Fox Green sector of Omaha Guerra 2

Beach in a landing craft" (Reynolds 23). From the minute he stepped a foot on the "already bloody battle ground" (Reynolds 23), Ernest was exposed to the "high physical and emotional costs of bodily wounds"(Reynolds 21) and paid the eternal price of this corrupting episode of hatred. Many women viewed him as "a womanizer who had no respect for women" (Reynolds 24) which can show the numbness of affection he acquired from war. Before he died, Hemingway had been married to five different women, all of which lasted less than ten years...
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