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The Origin of Individual Heroism

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Ⅰ.Suppose you are to write a graduation thesis. Try to finish the following parts according to the direction. (100 points)
1. To write the title in the middle.
2. To state your main content or an abstract within 100-200 words, and then. give the key words (3-5 words).
3. To give a brief introduction of literary or literature review within 200 words and the significance of your paper.
4. To list the bibliography (See the reference format below) Note: You can choose either English or Chinese to do it.

On the Happiness of the Hemingway Hero

Main conent: Hemingway’s works show us a world of violence, disorder, and death. The Hemingway hero just live in the world no matter where it is an Eliotic Weste Land, a battlefield, sea or somewhere else. It can not be reasonable any more if people think the world is full of sadness because the fact is just like this. That’s why there are so many words wherever they come from prove that the Hemingway hero or even Hemingway himself is pessimistic one. However, pessimistic does coexist with optimistic, sadness does rank with happiness. In that way, the paper challenges the pessimism. It aims for showing Hemingway hero’s happy side through these facts — Hemigway’s own life, Nick Adams in the In Our Times, Jake barnes in the The Sun Also Rise, Frederic Henry in the A Farewell to Arms, Rorbort Jordan in the For Whom the Bell Tolls, Santiago in the The Old Man and the Sea. The reason is the more the Hemingway hero knows happiness the more he knows sadness.

Key words: Hemingway’s world;hero;pessimism;happiness


As a boy, Hemingway liked boxing and football and wrote light verse and humorous stories. After leaving school, he expericed the war. During his whole life, he was injured many times, suffered at least a dozen injuries to the brain, and survived three bad automobile accidents and two air crashes. From the wounds,237 steel fragments were taken out of his body. He shot himself on July 2,1961. Almost all the critics think that Hemingway and the Hemingway’s hero is pessimistic (Writ, 1981, p.11). I do agree that Hemingway’s world is a world essentially chaotic and meaningless and the Hemingway hero fights against the sad world. The Hemingway hero first appears In Our Times. Nick Adams is introduced to a world of violence, disorder and death. The opening story, “Indian Camp,” relates the story of young Nick observing his father help a Indian women to give birth. A new creature comes to the world in the terrible crying of the mother. Meanwhile the father suicide himself because he can not bear his wife’s crying.

All this makes innocent Nick think about death. Jake Barnes, the Hemingway hero of The Sun Also Rises, is seen wandering pointlessly and enjoying things like fishing, swimming, a bullfight, and beauties of nature but aware all the while that the world is crazy and meaningless and futile. He comes to see that, in a world in which “all is vanity and vexation of spirit,” there is nothing one can do but to take care of one’s own life and be tough against fate and tough with grace under pressure. Frederic Henry, in the A Farewell to Arms, experienced the WWI. He survived the enemy’s gun shot through the cold river and the mud road. Yet he cannot control his fate. He has to face the threat of death. The death of Catherine, his own wound and the Carabinieri killing the innocent in the rain at night — all this happens in a world of complete unreason. But the sun also rises. Robert Jordan, in the For Whom the Bell Tolls, goes to the Spanish battlefield with noble feelings as a college student. But he haven’t found friends or supporters with the same ideals there.

He is fighting a losing battle. The old Cuban fisherman Santiago, in the The Old Man and the Sea, is the representative Hemingway hero. For 84 days, Santiago does not catch a single fish. He goes far out into the sea and hooks a giant marlin. A desperate struggle ensues in which Santiago manages to kill the fish and tie it to his boat, only to find that on the way home he has to fight a more desperate struggle with some dangerous giant sharks, which eat up the marlin, leaving only a skeleton. There is no doubt that the end of the Hemingway hero —- Nick, Barnes, Henry, Jordan and Santiago is tragic from this angle. From another perspective, however, Nick realizes death so that he can more understand it; Barnes knows how to enjoy the toughness of life when he finds he cannot avoid it; Henry knows the art of acceptance in the life; Jordan feels pride for he dies for the noble ideal; Santiago defeats the titanic marlin and the dangerous giant sharks. So let us see the happy side of the Hemingway hero.


[1] Baker, Carlos. Hemingway the Writer as Artist [M]. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1956. [2] Williams, Writ. The Tragic Art of Ernest Hemingway [M]. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981. [3] Jeffrey Meyers. Hemingway the Critical Heritage [M]. London: Routlegde & Kegan Paul, 1982. [4]

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