Not a Hero… a Code Hero
During the box office hit movie, Spider-Man II, the character of Aunt May said, “I believe there’s a hero in all of us.” Unfortunately, the famous author Ernest Hemingway did not see it that way at all. This man, who had written A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises, believed that there were certain characteristics that made up the hero, or the code hero as he called it. Hemingway’s code hero was a character who demonstrated three characteristics that included grace under pressure, honor, courage, and endurance, and last but not least need for ritual. Santiago, Brian Piccolo, and Theodore Roosevelt are all great examples of code heroes.
In Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea the main character Santiago displays the three main characteristics of a code hero. In this book, Santiago has not caught a fish in eighty five days and is in much need of a break. He finally catches an enormous marlin but to his dismay the fish was eaten by a school of sharks. Later on he goes home and dies from exhaustion in his shack. However the sad story, Santiago was portrayed as one of Ernest Hemingway’s most famous code hero. Santiago had much grace under pressure when he and the boy “sat on the Terrace and many of the fishermen made fun of the old man and he was not angry” (Hemingway 11). Santiago is portraying his heroic nature when he ignores the other fisherman and does not let their rude remarks make him angry. Another Hemingway characteristic of a code hero is need for ritual. Santiago portrays the need for ritual while discussing his “famine of fish” with the boy, “do you think we should buy a terminal of the lottery with an 85? Tomorrow is the 85th day” (Hemingway 17). Santiago is being heroic here by showing that he is not willing to give up fishing and he will keep going until he has caught a massive fish, even if it takes more than 85 days. Finally, the last, but certainly not the least characteristic of a...
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