Ernest Hemingway – “The Lost Generation”Ernest Hemingway is a renowned American author of the Twentiethcentury who centers his novels around personal experiences andaffections.
He is one of the authors named “The Lost Generation. “He could not cope with post-war America, and therefore heintroduced a new type of character in writing called the “codehero”. Hemingway is known to focus his novels around code heroeswho struggle with the mixture of their tragic faults and thesurrounding environment. Traits of a typical Hemingway Code Heroare a love of good times, stimulating surroundings, and strictmoral rules, including honesty.Order now
The Code Hero always exhibitssome form of a physical wound that serves as his tragic flaw andthe weakness of his character. In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun AlsoRises Jake Barnes is the character who maintains the typical CodeHero qualities; while Robert Cohn provides the antithesis of aCode Hero. Jake Barnes, the narrator and main character of The Sun AlsoRises, is left impotent by an ambiguous accident during World WarI. Jake’s wound is the first of many code hero traits that hefeatures.
This physical wound, however, transcends into anemotional one by preventing Jake from ever consummating his lovewith Lady Brett Ashley. Emotional suffering can take its toll onthe Code Hero as it did with Jake Barnes. Despite the deep lovebetween Jake and Lady Brett, Jake is forced to keep therelationship strictly platonic and stand watch as different menfloat in and out of Lady Ashley’s life and bed. No one other thanJake and Brett themselves ever learn the complexity of theirrelationship because Jake’s hopeless love for Brett and the agonyit entails are restricted to scenes known to themselves alone.
Therefore, Jake suffers in silence because he has learned to trustand rely only upon himself, which is conducive to the HemingwayCode as well. Jake is an American who travels to Europe to satiate his appetitefor exotic landscapes and to escape his pain. Jake tries to livehis life to the fullest with drinking, partying, and sporting withfriends. With these pastimes, Jake hopes to hide from his faultand get on with the life he has been made to suffer. Watching andparticipating in sports help accentuate the Code Hero’smasculinity and provide the sense of pride Jake has lost. Thisgain of pride is essential in the Hemingway Code.
Jake attendsfishing trips with friends, he visits Pamplona, Spain to witnessthe running of the bulls, and he acts as a mediator betweenarguing friends. These characteristics reveal his strongcharacter built of courage and grace. Jake, as with any Code Hero,is a man of action who spends more time achieving goals thantalking about them. Jake’s friend, Robert Cohn violates everything a Hemingway CodeHero represents.
He is rich, gifted, and skillful and is readyto discuss his emotions in detail. Robert refuses to admit defeatwhen Brett rejects him repeatedly. Unlike Jake, when Cohn is hurt,he insists on complaining to everyone instead of suffering insilence. Cohn does nothing to assert his masculinity, either. Heallows people, especially women to ridicule him and knock down hisself esteem. Cohn obviously can not stand up for himself and doesnot take action when he should.
Consequently, Robert has no selfcontrol. When a matador sleeps with Brett, whom Cohn is in lovewith, he takes out his jealousy by beating him repeatedly. Although a man of action, Jake, the quintessential Hemingway Hero,knows when to control himself, Robert Cohn does not. On the whole, Jake Barnes strictly adheres to the qualities of thetypical Hemingway Code Hero.
He relies solely on himself, utilizeshis assets, enjoys bullfights and other honorable activities. Heis an individual of action and speaks not of what he believes;rather he just does what he believes to be right subtlety withoutany fanfare. Jake has lived with disappointment and frustrationall his life, yet he overcomes it and uses the lesson to hisadvantage. On the other hand, Robert Cohn, who has had the easylife is the perpetual loser. He allows people to walk all overhim and continually feels sorry for himself. Robert Cohn is thefalse knight, who, in theory should be the victorious protagonistbut will always turn out to be a shallow person who lives on thefringes of life.
In the end, the person who does not possess theCode Hero qualities can never discover himself, and thereforenever truly be happy.