the Protagonists in For Whom the Bell Tolls as heroes on Joseph Campbell's journey




Chriss, William


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Ernest Hemingway’s novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (FWTBT), portrays its protagonists in ways that illustrate Joseph Campbell’s concept of the hero’s journey and his theory of the mono-myth. This thesis will argue that the book’s characters of Robert Jordan, Maria, and Pilar provide different embodiments of the Campbellian universal heroic archetype. My project seeks to enter into scholarly conversations about this novel and its primary characters, as well as about Campbellian anthropology as applied to literary criticism in general. The thesis concludes that while each of these three characters exhibit aspects of Campbell’s monomyth, the one that most clearly follows the hero’s journey is Maria. This may be a controversial claim among traditional Hemingway readers that enthusiastically embraced his macho image, but it is consistent with later scholarly criticism that sees Hemingway’s strong female characters as indicating a more nuanced and less misogynistic view of femininity. Thus, this project helps to refine literary criticism of Hemingway and to increase understanding of the interplay between myth, social psychology, and modern English literature.



Campbell, Hemingway, hero, monomyth, Tolls



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