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the ending

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Melissa so, was the ending a let down? or was there any other way for it to end?




Sarah i wasn't let down, but it was very poignant. have you read the book? i don't want to give too much away...


Melissa i read it over the summer. while i didn't probably have enough background knowledge of Spain in that time period, it was definitely a moving book. the scenes where the old lady is telling about her village and her bullfighting boyfriend- amazing. and the ending was odd- the whole job was to blow up the bridge, regardless, and that is what the main character did. but you couldn't help wanting the hollywood ending of him and the girl getting away together.

so i guess my question is, he ended abruptly, as lives in war do, and so our story ended abruptly. would it have been as poignant if it had ended any other way?




Mike Personally, I think the ending is perfect. I don't want to get into any details for reasons of spoilers.


message 5: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle I thought the ending was some what dissapointing because Maria and Robert Jordan don't escape happily ever after, but in the end the ultimate goal of the book to blow up the bridgeis fulfilled.


message 6: by T.Y. (last edited Jun 09, 2011 10:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

T.Y. I think the way it ended was the only non-cheesy way it could have ended, but then again I have never been one to desire the overly saccharine "happily ever after" ending.


message 7: by Christos (last edited Jun 09, 2011 10:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Christos Tsotsos Nah the ending ...sucks!! I love it when people do that :)

Actually the ending of the book could not have been different. As with everything in life you expect one thing and you get something else. Loved it!


Helena I loved the ending. It was perfect.


Scott That was the right way to do it. Very moving. Much better than the pop culture happy endings so many modern authors seem obligated to write.


message 10: by Eric (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eric I liked the ending. The foreshadowing was strong and you knew what Robert Jordan's fate ultimately would be fairly early into the story. What kept me interested was the outcome for the rest of the group, especially Maria, Pilar, and Pablo. Hollywood endings are unoriginal and boring and tend to ruin many otherwise good movies (and books). It would have been pretty obnoxious if everyone had skipped off into the sunset to live happily ever after.


message 11: by Theodor (new)

Theodor I really enjoyed the ending. As previous people have mentioned it is not the 'hollywood' type ending so commonly found in works of literature. Rather it was a conclusion that tied together Robert's conflicts until they he became integrated as a full person. At the beginning of the novel Jordan experienced life and his devotion to the republican cause that fought for "liberty, dignity, and the rights of all men to eat and not be hungry." (an overly idealized cause as we learn later). He worked as a dynamiter with his "cold head" and was always completely focused on the task at hand- disregarding the value of his life in the pursuit of some abstract ideal of liberty.Killing people as well as sacrificing his life is necessary
to achieve the completion of the task and Jordan embraces it whole-heartedly. However, upon meeting Maria and the guerilleros he learns much about life. He learns that, as the opening John Donne quote stated: "No man is an island". His, albeit unrealistic romance with Maria, (in my opinion) serves to enlighten Jordan about the value of life. There is much to learned in life and life should be cherished based on the relations between individuals, based on a community of people. This discovery conflicts with Jordan's clear-headed dedication to his blowing a bridge duty. He can't think about Maria and the new-found knowledge that she represents because he has to focus on the task at hand. However at the ending he dies for his community and Maria in order to give them time to escape. The beating motif reflects how he has changed dramatically from the beginning-Jordan is now more a full ending. However his dedication to the cause is not destroyed. Jordan still decides to take out a few fascists so as to aid the war effort however lightly. Another question that can be posed for this ending is: Was blowing up the bridge really worth it after Jordan gained so much insight and knowledge. In my opinion, Jordan couldn't have gained that knowledge without feeling the necessity to gain it because of the impending doom of the bridge. His death in the end ties together Jordan's interior conflicts in a way that could not be made possible otherwise without his death. As such the ending is interesting and a nice contrast to 'Hollywood endings'. I would like seeing how other people thing about this interpretation.


Randall Luce The ending is perfect Hemingway. Life makes you suffer: it kills your loved one, or you; the fish is destroyed, the woman you love you can never have. In the face of that, what should you do. Hemingway says, you do your job, you try to live with some kind of consistency, some clarity, courage, and grace. And that's what Jordan does. I think that even if, in the end, he was alone and his actions had no bearing on the others' escape, he would still do what he does, because the only way you cheat death is to "live" right up to your very last second.


Cameron This was Hemingway's manliest ending yet. When I finished the book I roared like a lion and threw the book against the wall.


Angie At first I was aghast at the ending and couldn't believe it ended that way, but the more I thought about it, the more I think that it's the only way it could have ended well. We don't need to be told if he gets the job done - he always gets the job done! (in my opinion :)


Meghan Sweeney Cameron wrote: "This was Hemingway's manliest ending yet. When I finished the book I roared like a lion and threw the book against the wall."

This is probably my favorite comment on this thread.


message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Airey The book ended as it begun, with a man's heartbeat against the pine needles of a forest. It was a perfect "o". It wasn't a happily ever after... but it was REAL.
And WHOLE. And life. And death.


message 17: by Deep (last edited Jan 05, 2014 06:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deep Vam Dev Cameron wrote: "This was Hemingway's manliest ending yet. When I finished the book I roared like a lion and threw the book against the wall."

Like Bradley Cooper does in The Silver Linings Playbook


message 18: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Lyerla The ending was perfect.


message 19: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Lyerla Randall wrote: "The ending is perfect Hemingway. Life makes you suffer: it kills your loved one, or you; the fish is destroyed, the woman you love you can never have. In the face of that, what should you do. H..."

Well said.


Davey Northcott This, in my mind, is Hemmingway's greatest book and the ending is one that has kept me thinking about it constantly ... and I'm not just saying that! I've read the book twice and it was no less powerful the second time. The idea of striving for one thing through obligation and the battle of that obligation against a heartfelt desire that pulls you in another direction culminates in a Hemmingway realist sense with this ending; the only way it could have and should have finished.


Deeptanshu It was definitely a sad ending but that was what makes it so poignant and memorable.


message 22: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff Bottrell Randall wrote: "The ending is perfect Hemingway. Life makes you suffer: it kills your loved one, or you; the fish is destroyed, the woman you love you can never have. In the face of that, what should you do. H..."

Exactly - loving Hemingway is not being afraid to look utter despair in the face.


Colin Mitchell Throughout my feeling was that RJ was never going to come away from the bridge.


message 24: by Sereia (new)

Sereia There is no other way that the book could possibly have ended, since the author spent the entire book foreshadowing what was to come. One of the main purposes of the book, in my opinion, was to show how fully a life could be lived in only four days, and the main character himself discusses this, and was at peace with it. Readers can self-examine their own motivations and feelings for why they may not be at peace with it as well.

What I loved was that the book ended exactly as it began: with Robert Jordan on the forest floor, looking down the mountain. Having lived a lifetime in between.


Seattle Al The ending was perfect: the reader is left thinking, "What happens? Who gets killed?" And then the title and its source roll in on you like a wave: "Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." Either character's death (Robert Jordan's or Lieutenant Berrendo's) would be tragic, as will be our own.


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