Hemmingway Hero Essay, Research Paper
Divided Minds Does the static expression of the Hemingway Hero in The Old Man and the Sea enhance or detract from the story?
The Hemingway Hero is defined by a static set of characteristics. These characteristics remain essentially the same throughout all of Hemingway’s works. The Hemingway Hero is always courageous, confident, and introspective. He does not let his fears get to him. The Hemingway Hero is expressed differently in each of his novels, though. Sometimes he is young, and sometimes old. In Hemingway’s novels The Nick Adams Stories and Old Man and the Sea, the Hero is introduced differently. In The Nick Adams Stories, Nick Adams begins as a naive, young boy then becomes the Hero within the view of the reader as his early life and the events that influenced his life most are the entirety of this memoir-style novel. In Old Man and the Sea, though, the old man does not develop into a hero. Santiago begins as an old man who has already attained the Heroic qualities that he will demonstrate intentionally throughout the rest of the book. He remains and is a static, unchanging example of Hemingway’s idealistic of heroicism.
The “Hemingway Hero” was not an original invention of his. Whether called a code hero or a stereotypical protagonist, the Hero has appeared throughout the history of American Literature, from Falkner to Melville and many places in between. The Hero, universally, expresses one key quality: Grace Under Pressure (GUP) . The Hero, though he may be afraid, keeps his composure in the most trying situations and does what is right when others cannot.
In a typical ‘Code Hero’ book, the Hero begins as cocky, naive, or often, both. By the end, though, the Hero has, through the many experiences expressed in the book, become a strong and clear example of the ‘Code Hero’.
In The Old Man and the Sea, though, the Hero begins a Hero. He ends a Hero. The whole time, the old man is the clich Code Hero. This is a unique and remarkable approach, and after the failure of his previous book, certainly a risky one. Noone had done this before and been successful. At least noone he, or I, know of, has. But Hemingway pulled it off. The book is not a portrait; it is not static, despite that the main character’s morals his ideals- never really change. The old man inspires and enlivens the readers, and makes them see something… without making the old man out of reach or inhuman. A reader of his previous works might feel that they have seen these characteristics in Hemingway’s works before. That reader would probably find another ‘Nieve boy becomes Code Hero’ book, just like so many others they have read, much more boring.
Nick, the main character in The Nick Adams Stories, is in many ways is like Hemingway himself. Nick travels into the forests of northern Michigan to find a release from the agony and emotional wounds the war has left him. Setting up camp and fishing and cooking by himself, Nick lifts his spirits by creating his own personal utopia. Like Nick Adams, Hemingway found nature to be the best escape for him from his troubled world. In fact, Nick Adams is probably the most autobiographical of Hemingway s characters. It s no accident that Hemingway describes the flight of a kingfisher in Big, Two-Hearted River. In this case, Nick renews himself through nature particularly through the river.
In several places in The Nick Adams Stories, Nick alludes to biblical themes. For example, after Nick finishes pitching his tent, he assesses his situation, and calls it good. This clearly parallels the Bible’s story of creation. His good place is, in a way, his own self-made heaven. Hemingway, like many transcendentalists of his day, did not believe in God. Instead he relied, like Nick Adams, on finding his own escape from reality, making his own good place . Hemingway believed that the only way man could get through life was to create, to build, his own destiny for himself.