A Farewell to Arms
The Hemingway Code Hero
Throughout Hemingway’s works, the characters adhere to a set of principles theorized by readers and critics as the Hemingway code hero. Although the characters do not follow a set code, they live by certain principles. In this phrase, "code" means a set of rules or guidelines for conduct. In Hemingway's code, the principal ideals are honor, courage, and endurance in a life of stress, misfortune, and pain. Often in Hemingway's stories, the hero's world is violent and disorderly; moreover, the violence and disorder seem to win.
The code hero exemplifies stoicism. He is led by reason and must exercise control, which leads to self-discipline. Acts are performed because it is right to perform them; personal integrity is more important that conforming to society’s values. Person emotions are not considered by the code hero. An example of stoicism is Frederic’s response to his child’s death.
Attitude Toward Death Hemingway illustrates through his characters that it is necessary to endure, and it is necessary to die. Death is basic to all Hemingway heroes. They must act in an acceptable manner in the face of death and not show fear. In other words, the hero lives intensely, despite the possibility of death. This has been termed “grace under pressure.” The code hero must be constantly tested in life in order to prepare for his ultimate test: meeting death with dignity and fearlessness. For the code hero, death is final; an afterlife does not exist.
Loyal/Devoted to Duty The code hero also expresses loyalty and devotion to duty, as seen when Frederic Henry remains loyal to the small group of ambulance drivers. When it disbands, his loyalty ends and his new devotion is to Catherine. He then feels no attachment to the retreating army at Caporetto. The code hero’s loyalties are devoted to concrete, tangible relationships rather than abstract ideas such as honor or duty.
The code hero is...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document