Plight of the Code Hero in the Works of Ernest Hemingway

2458 Words10 Pages
The Plight of the Code Hero in the Works of Ernest Hemingway In his novels Ernest Hemingway suggests a code of behavior for his characters to follow: one that demands courage in difficult situations, strength in the face of adversity, and grace under pressure. Termed the "code hero," this character is driven by the principal ideals of honor, courage, and endurance in a life of stress, misfortune, and pain. Despite the hero's fight against life in this violent and disorderly world, he is rarely the victor. The code that the hero follows demands that he act honorably in this uphill battle and find fulfillment by becoming a man and proving his worth. Hemingway himself lived his life trying to show how strong and unlimited he was, a trait reflected in his novels as his heroes struggle through. They are all martyrs to their cause, suffering but triumphantly ending their lives because they do not falter and show no weakness. Destroyed, they are nevertheless winners because they do not give in. "Success is that old ABC -- ability, breaks, and courage" (Luckman n. pag.). Hemingway's heroes succeed precisely because of these characteristics. Hemingway's heroes are not Marvel Heroes; they do not leap over tall buildings in a single bound, nor do they shoot spider webbing from their hands. They traverse life and endure the pain dealt them, surviving with a moral and spiritual, but not material, victory. They are not flat cardboard characters but real people who are heroes because they overcome a problem, not because they have a special ability. The key trait that they have is the retention of their dignity. The code heroes in TheOld Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, and For Whom the B... ... middle of paper ... .... _____. The Old Man and the Sea. USA: Scribners, 1952. _____. "Quotations Organized by Topic," <http://www.quoteland.com/quotes/topic/147.html> (18 May 1999). _____. The Sun Also Rises. USA: Scribners, 1926. Lord Byron. "Quotations Organized by Topic," <http://www.quoteland.com/quotes/topic/147.html> (18 May 1999). Luckman, Charles. "Quotations Organized by Topic," <http://www.quoteland.com/quotes/topic/147.html> (18 May 1999). McConnell, Frank. The Modern Novel in America, Regnery, revised edition,1963, pg. 814. Rpt. In World Literature Criticism. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. "Oscar Wilde." http://www.cp-tel.net/miller/BilLee/quotes/Wilde.html (18 May 1999). Shalizi, Cosma. "For Whom the Bell Tolls," <http://www.physics.wisc.edu/~shalizi/Poetry/Donne/For_whom_the_Bell_Tolls> (1 May 1999).

More about Plight of the Code Hero in the Works of Ernest Hemingway

Open Document