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. ...
... middle of paper ...
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.
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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