Code Hero Essay

But — and this is the significant point — man can never act in a cowardly way.He must not show that he is afraid or trembling or frightened in the presence of death.

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For example, we need only to recall small insignificant scenes in Hemingway works, such as in A Farewell to Arms, when in the midst of the battle Frederick Henry and his two ambulance drivers sit down in the middle of the battlefield amid all of the destruction and thoroughly devote themselves to relishing, enjoying, savoring every taste of their macaroni, cheese, and bottle of mediocre wine. From this we derive then the idea of grace under pressure.

Returning to the primary consideration, that is, that death is the end of all things, it then becomes the duty and the obligation of the Hemingway hero to avoid death at almost all cost. This concept is one according to which the character must act in a way that is acceptable when he is faced with the fact of death.

Indigenous to almost all of Hemingway's novels and in fact to a study of Hemingway in general is the concept of the Hemingway hero, sometimes more popularly known as the "code hero." When Hemingway's novels first began to appear they were readily accepted by the American reading public; in fact, they were enthusiastically received.

Part of this reception was due to the fact that Hemingway had created a new type of fictional character whose basic response to life appealed very strongly to the people of the 1920s. He was a man who moved from one love affair to another, who participated in wild game hunting, who enjoyed bullfights, who was involved in all of the so-called manly activities which the typical American male did not participate in.

A basis for all of the actions of all Hemingway key heroes is the concept of death.

The idea of death permeates or lies behind all of the characters' actions in Hemingway's novels.

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Hemingway Code Hero In this novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway brings about the evolution of Frederick Henry being converted into a code hero in realistic ways.

It must be emphasized, however, that the Hemingway character or code hero would himself never speak of a code. To actually formulate a set of rules of conduct to which the Hemingway character would adhere is, in one sense, a violation of the essential nature of the code hero. Behind the formulation of this concept of the hero lies the basic disillusionment of the American public, the disillusionment that was brought about by the First World War.

The sensitive man in America or the sensitive man in the world came to the realization that the old concepts and old values embedded in Christianity and other ethical systems of the western world had not served to save mankind from the catastrophe of this World War.


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