Hemingway's Hero

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Hemingway's Hero

Post by Archer on Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:22 am

Barnes, Nick Adam, Frederic Henry, Robert Jordan etc. are all Hemingway’s typical heroes who remain continuously under great stress because they are living in absolutely unsatisfactory conditions. Hemingway’s hero is always in some war or war like conditions but the notable point is that he enters war without any social, political or ideological obligation. That is why he is basically a disinterested spectator of war instead of a vehement participant. Romantic ideals and abstractions like sacred, glory, bravery etc. do not fascinate him and we cannot help wondering why he offers himself to serve in war.

Hemingway’s hero leads a private life as an isolated individual because during war he very closely observes the nothingness of life, cruelty of man against man, temporality, emptiness and meaninglessness in human relationship and extremely realizes that looking for permanence in human relations is to meet utter disappointment. However, we should not assume that he is a misanthrope but he has a great ability to recognize another member of his breed and establishes an immediate understanding with him.

Although, he is a tough man and loves outdoor activities, yet he is equally sensitive and his wounds add fuel to fire to his sensitiveness. Secondly, he suffers from Nada which always keeps him restless and the darkness at night intensifies the feeling of nothingness in life. That is why he keeps on thinking and cannot sleep at night and even if he sleeps, he is disturbed by nightmares. However, it is worth mentioning that a typical Hemingway’s hero is not volunteer thinker or philosopher rather he wants to avoid these troublesome haunts. He takes pleasure in spending most of his time in going on for hunting or fishing trips, reaming about different restaurants and enjoying free sex or drinking. The restlessness of the typical Hemingway’s Hero continues until he searches out a solution of present agony. At last, he succeeds in formulation a code which may work effectively as a bolster for the dome of his life.

Jake Barnes is the typical Hemingway’s hero who leaves his own country America and lives in Paris and he works as a journalist in an American Newspaper. He voluntarily takes part in the First World War and, like other Hemingway’s heroes, is wounded. However, the nature of Barnes’ injury is quite different and unique because he is injured in such a way that he can feel sexual desire but consummation of this desire is not possible. To aggravate the situation, an English volunteer nurse Brett Ashley falls in love with him and ironically enough, she is near nymphomaniac. Jake is fully aware of the irony of fate and remains restless day and night. Brett Ashley moves from one man to another in pursuit of her physical satisfaction and Jake is a silent spectator.

He nervously moves from one hotel to another, one dancing club to another but to no avail. He cannot overcome his grief because it penetrates to the depth of his soul. In Hotel Monty at Pamplona in Spain he meets Pedro Romero, the greatest bullfighter who is born with great qualities of tolerance and patience. Romero is severely beaten by the boxing champion Robert Cohn, but his soul remains untouched and he des not loose his integrity and performs his duty in the ring stoically. In his fiesta in Pamplona Jake looses his sweetheart Brett Ashley and his friend Montoya, but he learns the greatest lesson of his life that a great amount of patience and tolerance is required to lead life and it is possible only through manly encounter with death. This is the lesson which enables him to receive a telegram from his disloyal beloved and respond to her stoically and patiently.
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