Friday, September 20, 2019
Ernest Hemingway :: essays research papers
Ernest Hemingway best exemplifies his hero code in his novels The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and The Sea through his protagonists Jake Barnes and Santiago. The honor code for each of these characters means avoiding and struggling against the meaninglessness of life (nada) and instead embracing a passion for life which they demonstrate by means of their actions and feelings. The Hemingway code embodies principles that govern the actions of Hemingway’s main protagonists in his novels. They are “rules which if completed would become...the manual of conduct'; (Waldhorn 26). As Arthur Waldhorn says “the Hemingway code does not ask that a hero be fearless or entertain illusions about refuge or escape. But it insists that he discipline and control his dread and, above all, that he behave with unobtrusive though unmistakable dignity'; (26). “The code that does concern Hemingway and his tyros is the process of learning how to make one’s passive vulnerabilities (to the dangers and unpredictabilities of life) into a strong rather than weak position, and how to exact the maximum amount of reward (honor, dignity) out of these encounters'; (Rovit 92). In advance, a character knows what is expected of him in the game of life, although he does not know what combination of challenges will be imposed on him at any one given time (91). Heming way’s belief in the freedom of the individual to make responsible choices was paid for at the painful expense of having to constantly wage battle with the unpredictable future. Because a character does not know what will happen to him, he must endure whatever challenges are thrown upon him. This ability to react to a variety of differing challenges is only acquired through training and experience of each unique challenge (91). Not only must Hemingway’s hero face the unpredictablilities of life with honor and dignity, but he must also face the challenges alone. “Each man faces his struggle alone...for only as solitary individuals can they assert their manhood'; (Weeks 165). Robert Weeks states that a man must depend upon himself alone in order to assert his manhood, and the assertion of his manhood, in the face of insuperable obstacles, is the complete end and justification of his existence for the Hemingway hero (164). While alone man can make promises to himself but if he fails he must be able to forgive himself for his mistakes and inadequacies (Rovit 97).