The Hemmingway Code: An analysis of the Hemingway Hero Code in major Hemingway short stories.

Essay by QuietmilesHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2006

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"Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name, thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada." (Hemingway 32) Hemingway's hero is one of strong substance, and one that understands basic concepts including that of Nada. He (they are always male) realizes that he is the victim of an anarchistic universe. He does not have faith. He does not think about chance, luck, or happenstance, but rather lives as he breathes. He is born of the Parisian expatriates; he lives materialistically and feeds on "sinful" pleasures. We see these qualities in the disturbingly similar Hemingway stories. Nick Adams, our war veteran from "The Big Two Hearted Rive"r, the sadistic, dying husband from "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", the despairing old man in "A Clean Well Lighted Place", and the crippled ex-sportsman major in "A Way You'll Never Be". There are a few rules which rigidly enforce the Code.

Our hero will have been the victim of unjustified injury; he will realize that no God watches over him, and finally he will be strong sportsman.

Our hero will be hurt. In one way or another, our hero will have, or will over the course of the story sustain serious physical injury. This is vitally important because it helps the character to realize that the universe is not ruled by any sort of principle or law, that injuries and death occur gratuitously and often. In the case of Nick Adams, it is the head injury which haunts him so dangerously. "'I suppose what I did was forget to put iodine on it when I first scratched it.'" (Hemingway 6) In this story, the hero, a male war veteran, is vacationing with his wife when he scratches his leg. Gangrene follows and reduces...