For Whom the Bell Tolls is about man’s struggle to find meaning in a world dominated by chaos and disorder.
Hemingway is a true writer of clarity and reality. All his fictional work is based on the real events, happened during Second World War. Most of the time, which the writer of the novel spent, was the time of chaos and disorder. In fact, his novels are mostly based on Second World War. In order to show the harsh reality of the war, he gives a clear cut definition of the events, which were happening due to the war. People were suffering and they were unable to find a single piece of peace for them as well as for their family. The life, which they were spending, can be expressed in a single term and that is to eat, drink and be merry. This purposeless life had no meaning at all. In other words, the reason of life was vanished from their minds. In comparison to other writers, his fictional work, including novels and short stories, totally support the cruel realism and meaningless life. No matter, which novel or short story, you are reading; it shares a common element of commotion and destruction. For Whom the Bell Tolls and a Farewell to Arms are two main examples of it.
As far as chaos and disorder in For Whom the Bell Tolls is concerned, it is entirely based on destruction and obliteration. We can’t ignore Hemingway, when we are preparing a list of realistic writers. The life, which Robert Jordan was spending, was futile. There was not a single element of happiness and personal responsibility in it. Bare reading of the novel reveals us that happiness is much little in it. If it is there, it’s period is very short. Considering the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, we can frankly say that John Keats is right when he says; “Happiness is occasional episode in general drama of pain”. He said it in poetic form and the same thing was also said by Earnest Hemingway in the form of novel.
Another key thing to remember is that not only Robert Jordan was finding a purpose in his life but also the other characters like Pablo and Maria were finding meanings for their life. Eventually, they found nothing but war, with the people, whom they did not know. Revenge became their purpose. Finding a purpose in life was as much difficult for them as water in the dessert. If they were doing something, that is to spend the time in any way. The technique of symbolism is worth mentioning here which is freely used by Earnest Hemingway to prove his stance in finding the sense of life for those people. Maria was a symbol of flower that was rusted without any personal engagement in any matter. Moreover, it is difficult for a person to find meaning in his life when he knows that the action which he going to take has no value for him and it will give him no benefit. Although, no one has any guarantee for his life yet if he has a meaning he has hope to live.
Consequent thereupon, if a person spends his life, he knows that he has a gist. Everyone has hope in his life a little and if not he will not be able to do anything. Hemingway is also trying to prove that the people in those times have neither hope nor meaning to spend a positive life. Thus, if they could not recognize themselves then how can they find hope or meaning in their lives. The task which was provided to Robert Jordan was not enough to be given as the name of purpose. It was not a purpose of life but a small task assigned to him. Likewise, along with Robert Jordan, other characters of the novel had also no aim for life. Robert Jordan knew that blowing the bridge could never give them piece. If he is successful, he is going to find nothing and if he fails, again he has nothing at all. No matter what they do, everything is meaningless. People will die on both sides. They die without any personal grudge but they have to go with the tide.
In the light of the above discussion, it can be adjudged that the characters of the novel were trying to find a significant life but they found nothing. It is crystal clear that the era was totally the time of chaos and disorder due to the war but the story transpires a person who was trying to find something for his life but in vein. Ultimately, he acquired nil but damage and annihilation. Thus, to conclude the whole discussion it is clear like a day that definitely For Whom the Bell Tolls is about man’s struggle to find meaning in a world dominated by chaos and disorder.