Jake Barnes of 'The Sun Also Rises' as a Hemingway Code Hero.

Essay by baileywilliamsHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is an American veteran of World War I who lives and works in Paris as a newsman. Jake Barnes is the typical Hemingway Code Hero in this novel, but he does fail to meet certain aspects of the code. First, he is not a man in the traditional sense of the word. Due to a wound in WWI, he is essentially sexless. The Hemingway code hero indulges in all aspects of the word pleasure, mainly those of alcohol and women. Second, he breaks the Hemingway code by violating the trust of another man, especially when he violates it for a woman. He introduces Brett Ashley to Pedro Romero, the famous bullfighter, against the wishes of his friend and fellow bullfighting afficionado, Montoya. However, in many ways, Jake Barnes does meet the standards of a code hero. He handles his liquor well, and he loves hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.

He has faced death, and is not afraid of it. Jake is also disillusioned with life after surviving WWI, like many young adults after the First World War.

Behind the traditional concept of the code hero lies the disillusionment of the 'lost generation' of younger people, resulting from WWI. The code hero has to create a new set of values and concepts, because the traditional ones embedded in Christianity had not saved man from catastrophe. The Code hero had to find a place, then, that was not dominated by these precepts. Many members of the lost generation found this refuge in Paris, as did Jake Barnes. The spiritual values of code heros were not Christian; they essentially believed that there was no afterlife after death, so life must be experienced to the fullest. If facing total oblivion after death, the...