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The Hero: Pedro Romero

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Essay title: The Hero: Pedro Romero

The Hero: Pedro Romero

At the beginning of the 20th century Hemingway's generation viewed the world as romantics (Wikipedia Romanticism, 2008). World War One changed all of this by the use of its brutal military tactics and technologies (Wikipedia WW1 Technology, 2008). What honor was there in men who were cut down by machine guns, and what courage could one display against mustard gas? Thus, World War One had lasting effects on the generation of this time, leaving many veterans with the feeling that life was harsh and hollow, their young bodies mentally and physically worn out before their time. After the war many people became expatriates aimlessly wondering Europe in search of personal meaning. They were coined the "Lost Generation"

(Wikipedia The Lost Generation, 2008).

Most of the characters in Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises are of this lost generation. Robert Cohen and Pedro Romero are the exceptions. Cohen never experience war or hardships due to his wealthy Jewish upbringing, and was an annoying romantic. Evident by Cohen hoping that Brett would one day fall in love with him, when in fact she just used him for her own satisfaction. Contrary Romero was unaffected and untainted by the war due to his young age, and thus was able to easily possess Hemingway's heroic characteristics. Hemmingway's idea of a hero is a man who lives righteous, pursues the principles of honor, courage and fortitude. The narrator of The Sun Also Rises, Jake Barnes portrays Pedro Romero as the only character having these rare heroic characteristics and demonstrates them as follows.

Pedro Romero is a handsome, confident, strong, courageous young 19-year-old man who is a matador destined for greatness, he was "a real one" as Jake and Montoya agree (T.S.A.R. p.168, Ch.15). Pedro is a truly romantic aficionado. He loved bullfighting and he loved the bulls, referring to them as his best friends. Romero was able to turn the sport into a form of art, controlling all aspects in the bullring; " Romero's bull fighting gave real emotion, because he kept the absolute purity of line in his movements and always quietly and calmly let the horns pass him close each time. He did not have to emphasize their closeness (T.S.A.R. p.171, Ch.15)." Romero's career choice of confronting death, and making it look effortless by having such control is a heroic in it self.

With his good looks, strength, courage, confidence, and gentle mannerisms Romero is able to cause Brett to become completely infatuated with him to the point where she thinks that she is in love. Brett converses with Jake verbalizing that she "can't help it. "I'm a goner. I am mad about that Romero boy. I'm in love with him, I think" (T.S.A.R. p187, Ch. 16). But Pedro is able to maintain his self-control initially and harnessed his feelings for Brett. Jake narrated, "He felt there was something between them. He must have felt it when Brett gave him her hand. He was being very careful" (T.S.A.R. p.189, Ch. 16). Romero's display of personal strength not be over whelmed by emotion is another great attribute to his heroic character.

Romero is very physically strong. When a fight broke out between Cohen and Romero over Brett, Cohen knocked Romero down 15 times. However, Romero would not give up and kept on coming back for more until Cohen broke down and begged for forgiveness by offering a handshake. Romero did not and would not accept. He mustered up one last effort and punched Cohen in the face (T.S.A.R. p.206, ch.17). Pedro did not whine, complain or bother anyone of his physical pain. He just stayed in his hotel room until he had to attend his bullfight.

After his fight with Cohen, Romero was beaten up physically but not emotionally.

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