Code Hero Essay, Research Paper
The Code Hero
Robert Jordan has been defined as a Hemingway code hero. In Hemingway’s books, a code hero is usually male, as Hemingway’s books seem to have a similarity to Hemingway himself. These code heroes may have been previously wounded or gone through some sort of an ordeal, and so they could have a drinking problem, or a problem sleeping. They seem to be disillusioned, and/or self-oriented, and are not usually loyal to a large cause, but rather a small group of people or a relatively small idea or thing. In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Robert Jordan, the code hero, most likely dies at the end. If it were not for his loyalty to a small group, the events in the novel would probably not have transpired as they did.
Jordan is an American explosives expert. Being so much of an expert that he would be sent on such a mission indicates that he must have some experience in military demolitions, and he may have previously gone through a similar mission. A traumatic experience from a previous mission may very well be affecting his actions in the novel, such as how he has found himself in various situations of indecision. One such example could be the confrontation with Pablo at the beginning, and the continuing problems Pablo causes. Indecision could provide a reason for having a sleeping problem, as he does some things other than sleeping at night, one of the criteria for a code hero.
Disillusionment can be seen as the main contributor to the code hero definition. Jordan’s disillusionment grows throughout the novel, to the point where he doesn’t believe in the rebel cause whatsoever, war itself, or the killing of other human beings in the name of a cause. After Jordan kills the fascist who wanders near his sleeping bag, he is bothered by a constant feeling of guilt. It seems that Jordan experiences a change as the novel progresses, but his determination to complete the very dangerous mission never wavers, even though it becomes very clear that they will probably not escape. His code hero ethic to do what he needs to do manages to defeat his feelings for Maria, his growing negative feeling about the cause, and war itself. If Jordan had simply abandoned the mission, he would have been able to live happily ever after with Maria, but he would have let general Golz down by not doing what he was sent to do.
At the end of the novel, Jordan ends being injured in the process of trying to escape. He convinces Maria to leave him and escape with the rest of the band. Agustin even offers to put him out of his misery, so he doesn’t have to face the approaching fascists. Jordan, however, does not want to go out without a fight. By facing death bravely, he also aids those whose lives he has endangered.
The code hero’s ability to show grace under pressure also becomes a factor in Robert Jordan’s definition. At the very end of the novel, Jordan finds himself with a broken leg. The fascists are catching up, and the band is trying to carry him to safety, even though with him, the chances of escaping become very slim. Here, Jordan goes “above and beyond the call of duty” by staying behind to hold off the fascists. Sacrificing himself not for the cause, but for the small group, is what gives us Hemingway’s definition of a code hero.
For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
MonkeyNotes on For Whom the Bell Tolls, www.Pinkmonkey.com