The Enduring Hero in the Works of Ernest Hemingway
In his vast collection of masterpieces, Ernest Hemingway uses his own characteristics to set a moral code for his various heroes. This sportsman like code is based on the admiration of the physical virtues of courage and endurance. While not necessary for sustaining society, the code conforms the characters to one set of characteristics (McCaffery 237). One key element of this code is stoic endurance in the face of calamity. Hemingway’s code heroes posses a grin-and-bear it attitude even in the most dire of tragedies and bounce back seemingly unaffected (McCaffery 237). Often Hemingway tests the moral of the character in confrontations with death, which frequently directs his plots to violent situations. The very idea of living in Hemingway’s imaginative world is a test of endurance, but through his cod heroes he portrays the idea that perseverance through tragedy will result in triumph.
From an early age Hemingway was a rugged, enduring boy with an insatiable desire for action. “The father gave him his first fishing rod when Ernest was not yet three years old an his first shotgun when he was ten”(McCaffery 45). In his school years he had a strong competitive spirit and a burning wish to excel. At the age of fourteen, Hemingway persuaded his father to pay for boxing lessons. On the first day he sparred with young A’Hearn, a middleweight training for his next fight, and Hemingway was quickly knocked down with a bloody nose. Hemingway responded to the question of why he fought by saying “I wasn’t that scared” (McCaffery 45). After graduation he was rejected from the army because of an injured eye. He endured this minor setback and signed up as a Red Cross a…
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