CitedDonnel, Sean M.. Hemingway's Short Fiction and the Crisis of Middle Class Masculinity. [Online] Available http://www.elcamino.edu/Faculty/sdonnell/hemingway's_ masculinity.htm , May 12, 2006.
The characters in Hemingway’s stories reveal much about how he feels about men and the role they should play in society. Most of Hemingway’s male characters can be split into one of two groups. The first of which is the “Code” Hero. This is the tough, macho guy who chooses to live his life by following a “code of honor,
Ernest Hemingway is among the most unmatched of American authors. In his works, he is often said to focus on gender roles, especially those of men. Hemingway often created characters that showed the characteristics that he believed made a boy into a man. However, these characteristics are not gender-specific, and could very well apply to women as well. This collection of characteristics became the Hemingway Code Hero. The Hemingway Code Hero, more commonly referred to as the Code Hero, was an embodiment of male prowess. Most of Hemingway’s characters failed to live up to this almost impossible standard, however, all of his characters are capable of
The setting in which the story takes place emphasizes the relationship of the man and the woman in the story. Hemingway writes:
In this article, East Carolina University English professor Dr. Margaret Bauer makes the claim that one cannot solely rely on the reputation on the writer in order to fully comprehend the meaning of a certain text. This is the precisely the case with Ernest Hemingway as he was well-known to scholars to have his short stories filled with male-chauvinist characters either abusing or disregarding weak and helpless women. However, Bauer, a professor of English and women’s studies, believes that the characterization of Hemingway as an abuser and having a blatant disregard of women is almost entirely created by the scholars and readers of his stories. With an analysis of Hemingway’s “Indian Camp” and “Hills Like White Elephants”, Bauer attempts to bring her own feminist perspective to Hemingway’s notoriously misogynistic texts to prove that there are more to his female characters than there is on the surface and to possibly emasculate his reputation of portraying women as powerless and one-dimensional characters.
In Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago demonstrates the traits of the code hero. The Hemingway’s code hero covers the principal ideals of honor, courage, and endurance in a misfortune life. Throughout the novel, Santiago shows a contrast between opposite attitudes and values which associate his behavior with the guidelines of the code. In this case, the depiction of conflicting values, such as dignity despite humility, perseverance despite despair, and victory despite defeat are aspects that help to describe and understand the role of Santiago in the novel, and reflect the reason why this character is perfectly suited to the heroic conduct established by Hemingway.
The matador is a figure both of masculinity in his strength and gender, and femininity in his passivity, dress, and manipulation of desire. The passivity of the feminized matador “becomes her strength … against the man who goes ‘straight to the point’” (Schwartz 65). This question of “going straight to the point” is questioned in the text and is analogous to the loudness and failed performances of masculinity and men like Cohn are further likened to a bull. While figures of androgyny exercise great power in the book and failed male figures, the bulls and the men Brett controls fall to the figure of androgyny, Hemingway complicates the power of the androgynous figure through his masculine figure, Jake. Jake in unable to go “straight to the point” as he is impotent. Instead Jake’s position involves a triangulation of the desire manipulated in a bullfight and he represents an observer. He both observes the object of his affection Brett manipulate the desires of men and he watches the figure of a matador manipulate the desires of the bull, suggesting a
Masculinity is the confidence men have that make them feel good about themselves. A man's masculinity can be broken very easily by the littlest things. In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway portrays a perfect sense of masculinity through the non appearance of a perfect man. He uses characters like Jake, Mike, Robert and Romero to show the imperfectness of each of them, especially during their interactions with Brett Ashley. Throughout the novel, The Sun Also Rises, Jake is forced to live and deal with his broken masculinity, which was an important part of a man during that time.
In his novels Ernest Hemingway suggests a code of behavior for his characters to follow: one that demands courage in difficult situations, strength in the face of adversity, and grace under pressure. Termed the "code hero," this character is driven by the principal ideals of honor, courage, and endurance in a life of stress, misfortune, and pain. Despite the hero's fight against life in this violent and disorderly world, he is rarely the victor. The code that the hero follows demands that he act honorably in this uphill battle and find fulfillment by becoming a man and proving his worth. Hemingway himself lived his life trying to show how strong and unlimited
If Jake was not inhibited from his time in the war, then who is one to deny that he would not have ended with the girl in the end? Yet Hemingway did not write fairy tale endings reflecting sometimes the harshness of reality in his novels. Still, he is able to depict the greater importance of one’s manliness on the inside versus the outside. Hemingway used Cohn, Romero, and Jake to show that to be a real man one must be genuinely masculine internally. One’s looks or false behaviors hold no importance; instead, what truly matters is what one’s genuine character reflects.
In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway uses Santiago to demonstrate some of the qualities of a Hemingway Code Hero. Throughout the novel, Santiago encounters many trials and tribulations that test his role as a code hero. While reading the novel one will see that Santiago endures many of the rules of a code hero. However, the ones he encounters the most are misfortune, honor, and courage. Hemingway uses these rules in his novel in such a way that one can fully understand the life of Santiago.
Due to Hemingway’s horrific relationship with his mother, Grace Hemingway, Hemingway was never able to endure all his other relationships long enough for him to truly enjoy them. Of course he did have a few memorable moments in each relationship he had, everyone receives one each day. But, it just comes down at the end of Hemingway’s life; he was unhappy and regretted almost all of his four marriages. Also, Hemingway felt that he was never truly “man enough” and continuously wanted to prove himself to others. When everyone told they believed he was very masculine, he would not believe it. Instead, Hemingway chose to express what he felt about his life experiences through his writing, letting the world see what he believed. Because of this, Ernest Hemingway became one the most respected and well-known authors that literature had ever
Ernest Hemingway is known for his terse and succinct style of writing. Despite this, he weaves intricate stories with rich characters and deeper meanings that often reflect himself. Jake’s struggle with masculinity and his injury are a common theme throughout The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway also had issues with his masculinity and insecurities. Throughout The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway projects his own issues and personality onto his characters, especially when concerning the struggle of masculinity, and specifically in the case of Jake Barnes.
Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises has his male characters struggling with what it means to be a man in the post-war world. With this struggle one the major themes in the novel emits, masculine identity. Many of these “Lost Generation” men returned from that war in dissatisfaction with their life, the main characters of Hemingway’s novel are found among them. His main characters find themselves drifting, roaming around France and Spain, at a loss for something meaningful in their lives. The characters relate to each other in completely shallow ways, often ambiguously saying one thing, while meaning another. The Sun Also Rises first person narration offers few clues to the real meaning of his characters’ interactions with each other. The
“Hemingway’s greatness is in his short stories, which rival any other master of the form”(Bloom 1). The Old Man and the Sea is the most popular of his later works (1). The themes represented in this book are religion (Gurko 13-14), heroism (Brenner 31-32), and character symbolism (28). These themes combine to create a book that won Hemingway a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and contributed to his Nobel Prize for literature in 1954 (3).