Jake Barnes as Hemingway Code Hero in The Sun Also Rises

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Jake Barnes as Hemingway Code Hero in The Sun Also Rises

The portrayal of heroism is an essential aspect of literature, and

every writer delineates his heroes through their ability to triumph over

adversity. Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) consistently defined and distinguished

his heroes through an echoing set of characteristics that form a characteristic

"Hemingway Code Hero." A Code Hero is one that distinguishes himself by his

ability to demonstrate grace under pressure, to adhere to a strong set of

personal values and, most importantly, to live life to the fullest. In

Hemingway's first novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926), the protagonist Jakes Barnes

serves as a controversial example of a Code Hero. Jake fits into the category of

a Hemingway Code Hero because he embodies the most significant characteristics

of a quintessential Code Hero: he demonstrates his manhood through the ability

to endure pain with dignity, he imposes order upon his chaotic world through

personal values, and he attempts to enjoy the simple pleasures of life to add

meaning to his existence.

Hemingway characterized the Code Hero as "a man who lives correctly,

following the ideals of honor, courage, and endurance in a world that is

sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful" (Dwiggins). The most

essential characteristic of a Code Hero is the capacity to exemplify grace under

pressure, and Hemingway continually placed his characters into unfortunate, and

often tragic, situations to test their ability to survive. Hemingway's primary

focus was therefore on the strained individual and his response to adversity. ...

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code, and to embrace every opportunity to its full potential are the vital

characteristics that typify a Code Hero. Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises

relentlessly strives to set the societal standard through his stoicism,

morality, and action; therefore, his exemplification of these qualities

characterizes him as a true Hemingway Code Hero.

Works Cited

Dahiya, Dr. Bhim S. The Hero in Hemingway. New Delhi: Bahri Publications, 1978.

Dwiggins, Mary. "Characteristics of Hemingway's Code Hero." 22 Jan. 2001.

Millikin University. 5 Jul. 2003.


Gurko, Leo. Ernest Hemingway and the Pursuit of Heroism. New York: Thomas Y.

Crowell Company, 1968.

Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1926.
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