Nick Adams as Code Hero of In Our Time
Ernest Hemingway is noted for having made many contributions to the literary world and one of his most notorious contributions is the Code Hero. The birth and growth of the Code Hero can be easily observed simply by watching the growth and development of Nick Adams throughout Hemingway's writing. In Our Time contains a various assortment of Nick Adam stories at various stages of his life and also shows the Code Hero at various stages of its development. In Our Time was the second book Hemingway had published. His first contained only three short stories and ten poems and had little to do with the Code Hero, making In Our Time the first time Hemingway revealed the Code Hero to the rest of the world. The technique and characterization contained in In Our Time is consistent with most of Hemingway's later writings, setting up In Our Time as a model of Hemingway's style and the Code Hero
According to Professor Paul Totah of St. Ignatius, Hemingway defined 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." The Code Hero measures himself by how well they handle the difficult situations that life throws at him. In the end the Code Hero will lose because we are all mortal, but the true measure is how a person faces death. The Code Hero is typically an individualist and free-willed. Although he believes in the ideals of courage and honor he has his own set of morals and principles based on his beliefs in honor, courage and endurance. Qualities such as bravery, adventuresome and travel also define the Code Hero. A final trait of the Code Hero is his dislike of the dark. It symbolizes death and is a source of fear for him. The rite of manhood for the Code Hero is facing death. However, once he faces death bravely and becomes a man he must continue the struggle and constantly prove himself to retain his manhood (Totah).
The Code Hero is present in the majority of Hemingway's novels. Even the young man in Hills Like White Elephants contained many of the characteristics of the Code Hero such as free-willed, individualist, and travel. The individualism comes out in his desire to not have a child.