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THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA Hemingways Ultimate Hero In The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway creates his hero who endures the elements of nature and overcomes the more powerful forces of human nature In what would be his last novel Hemingway succeeds in creating his truest hero by pitting a weak old man against the strongest and most uncontrollable villain of all nature In his work and in his own life Hemingway is obsessed with mans survival in a world of immorality In his work he strives to create a hero of the times His characters are not heroes in the traditional sense They did not perform noble deeds or save others They basically save themselves from destruction Their struggle is with their own endurance and survival The code by which Hemingways heroes must live Philip Young termed them code heroes is contingent on the qualities of courage self-control and grace under pressure The typical Hemingway hero as a man who is wounded but bears his wounds in silence who is defeated but finds a remnant of dignity in an honest confrontation of defeat Furthermore the heros great desire must be to salvage from the collapse of social life a version of stoicism that can make suffering bearable the hope that in direct physical sensation the cold water of the creek in which one fishes or the wine made by Spanish peasants there can be found an experience that can resist corruption Contemporary Authors 34194 The basic element of all of Hemingways key characters of code heroes is the concept of death It becomes the duty and the obligation of the Hemingway hero to avoid death at almost all cost Life must continue Life is valuable and enjoyable Life is everything Death is nothing Gurko 168 It is not surprising that the Hemingway hero almost always encounters death or chooses to confront death in the story
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