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Define the idea of the Hemingway hero. The Short Happy Life of Francis...

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falusiea78 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2008 at 12:57 PM via web

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Define the idea of the Hemingway hero.

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber","Hills Like White Elephants."Define the idea of the Hemingway hero.

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 28, 2008 at 12:02 AM (Answer #1)

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The definition of a Hemingway hero changed as Hemingway himself grew older. This should not be surprising, however, since much of his work was based on his own life. The first real Hemingway hero was Nick Adams, a young man who had just returned from World War I. In "Big Two-Hearted River, Nick is trying to put his sanity back together after suffering both physically and mentally in World War I. The story is put together with the fragility of an egg, so that if Nick makes one false move, he will fall apart. Nick does keep his sanity and the Hemingway hero moves on to people like Frederick Henry in "A Farewell to Arms." In this story, Henry learns to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. He even grows a beard as a sign of maturity. Although Adams and Henry were fighting for personal happiness, Robert Jordan in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is fighting for the Spanish people in their freedom. This is the first time a Hemingway character fights for a cause bigger than himself. In "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", Francis is a total whimp until he can face a rhino face to face. Even though his wife kills him shortly thereafter, he was happy when for the short time he could face death. The Hemingway hero continues to grow until its ultimate expression as Santiago in "The Old Man and the Sea." Santiago is not only facing possible death but also trying to fight for dignity against all odds. His success shows that Heminway believed heroism came in various ways

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