Hemingway's Code Hero

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Hemingway's Code Hero

Post by Archer on Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:23 am

The major characters in Hemingway’s novels and short stories are divided into two groups. There are certain round characters who find themselves at cross-ends with the world around them and they are tying to come to some convincing terms with their environment but do not know the way out. They learn with the passage of time and evolve a new set of values, which make their survival possible. There are certain other characters that do not need any education because when they appear before us they are perfect in themselves. These characters appear with different names in different novels. But they share so many characteristics in common that critics identify them collectively as the Code Hero or in Earl Rovit’s terms “the Tutor”.

Hemingway’s code hero is usually an older man, tremendously courageous and blindly confident who has realized his potentialities and know his area of operations. He is perfectly skilled and experienced in his art and executes his jobs full-boldly. He is usually a bullfighter, a fisherman, a veteran soldier or a prized fighter who is dead sure of his success and acknowledgement in his particular department.

Hemingway’s code hero is an incarnation of those values, which make for the void of life caused by the First World War. The code hero is fully aware of the fact that if a man wishes to live most intensely only in confrontation and death by showing his coolness, endurance, grace and discipline he can assert his moral integrity and manliness.
Wilson, Pedro Romero, Santiago etc. are different examples of the code hero. Santiago fights the battle with courage and dignity to defend his prize against the sharks in the big sea especially when the Marlin is bleeding but as to give is unmanly. So he sustains his stature in the face of heavy and even insurmountable odds. He proves that:

“Though the field is lost everything is not lost.”

“A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

Romero, the code hero, in “The Sun Also Rises” is presented as the“Messiah” who has come to save not only full fighting from decadence but also“The Lost Generation”. He demonstrates to them through his actions how one can live with dignity and grace while facing death. Jake Barnes is greatly impressed by Romero when the former says:

“After Romero has kill his first bull “Montoya”, caught my eye and nodded his head. This was a real one. There had not
been a real one for a long time. He knows everything when he started. The other cannot learn what he was born with.”

The encounter of Robert Cohn and Pedro Romero, the encounter of the code hero and the romantic hero present the difference between physical and moral victory between chivalric stubbornness and real self respect. Thus Pedro fights to repair an affront to his dignity and though he is badly beaten yet his spirit is untouched by disappointment, whereas Cohn’s spirit is completely smashed. Though the next day Romero’s eyes were discolored, lips and face were swollen yet he beats Belmote in particularly every sphere of the sport. Cohn had based his skill at boxing or upon a women’s love, so he fails when neither love nor skill supports him but Romero’s manhood is a thing independent of women. Even in his courtship of Brett Ashley there is no loss of his pride and self respect.

He appears for a brief span of time but he has taught Jake Barnes to face the realities of life with stoic endurance and made Brett say:

“You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.”

“It is sort of what we have instead of God.”

Brett’s declaration is a prove that Romero indeed had the greatness within the bullring and outside of it.
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Re: Hemingway's Code Hero

Post by mehak001 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:19 am

can i get more notes of this book

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