In fact, Hemingway has borrowed this title from John Donne’s poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (Meditation XVII). In this poem, Donne has used metaphor of tolling bells with signaling death of another human life and gives an idea that humanity is bound as one. By using book metaphor, he represents humans as a book. Likewise, Hemingway has cleverly employed the same reference with metaphorical meaning in this novel about war. In war, mankind becomes unites. The idea he conveys through this title is that every person is bound to others and individually he is nothing. So, we all are part of one another and when one person dies, we all also lose something. Hence, whenever a bells tolls or a person dies, it means a part of us dies.
Metaphorical Meaning of title of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”