Hemingway Hero? Old Man and the Sea “… A very old man walking unsteadily but with dignity. ” This excerpt is from Ernest Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, but it could have easily been mistaken for, The Old Man and the Sea, also written by Hemingway. In both stories, the old man and Santiago, both become very unsteady at the end of the tale; but, they manage to maintain their dignity. For the old man, in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the reason he is so unsteady is because he is drunk. He likes to go to the cafe at night and drink his night away, and somehow, he manages to leave with all of his self worth.
In The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago leaves the ocean in destruction, but also keeps his dignity; for, he believes he isn’t defeated. At the beginning of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the waiters mention that the old man had recently tried to kill himself. Santiago, the fisherman in The Old Man and the Sea, wouldn’t coward away from life like that. The waiters from the old man’s story said that he attempted to kill himself because he was in despair. Santiago had many reasons to be in despair, but not one time did he try to take his own life away. In both stories, both of the elderly men seem to be persistent.
The old man in the cafe was told that he wasn’t going to be poured anymore alcohol. He insisted that the waiter should pour him some more. The first waiter did, but the next was more stubborn. Unfortunately, the second waiter won the battle, and the old man did not receive more brandy; but, he did not go down without a fight. Santiago was a very persistent old man as well. He was injured greatly, while fighting a battle with a great marlin; but he wouldn’t let the fish win without a fight. Eventually, Santiago killed the fish, but he was very persistent in his task.
He too, would not go down without a fight. Hemingway Code Hero The old man, in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, follows quite a few criterions to Hemingway’s Code Hero. The night seems to be equivalent to death, is disciplined, he expresses himself through actions. The waiters said that he old man comes to the cafe every night, and just drinks it away. Hemingway Hero’s stay up at night, or always have a light on, because the night is the same as death to them. The old man also seems to have much discipline, as a Code Hero should be, according to the standards.
He is drunk, and yet he still manages to not spill and remain very clean; which must have taken a lot of discipline to not be a slob, even when you’re drunk. He also expresses himself through actions more than words. Granted, he is deaf, but he still knows how to talk; his actions definitely outweigh his words. He attempted suicide, which action screams louder than any words I have ever heard. This characteristic also follows the list of ideal traits a Hemingway hero should exhibit. The old man is a definite Hemingway Code hero.