The central theme in Hemingway\'s work is heroism. Most of his novels are not
primarily studies of death or simply researches into the lost generation. They
are essentially the portrayal of a hero, the man who by force of some
extraordinary quality sets the standards for those around him. Hemingway has
always kept four subjects in his mind when writing. These four subjects which
have always fascinated Hemingway are fishing, hunting, bullfighting, and war, in
which all have shown some type of international aspects. But most of Hemingway\'s
novels are the studies death. They are a portrayal of a hero, but also a heroes
struggle and perception of death. What truly influences Hemingway\'s writings,
more over to the portrayal of a hero is the notion of death. To be a hero means
to dare more than other men, to expose oneself to greater dangers, and therefore
more greatly to risk the possibilities of death and defeat. (Connolly, p.226)

Hemingway said, "My favorite characters are men who deal in death and
accept its risks". To understand why Hemingway revolves his novels around
the concept of death, one must look at his own life and how the meaning of death
affected Hemingway himself. In 1928 Hemingway\'s father Edmonds Hemingway
committed suicide. It is said that he had much bad luck, and was not all of it
his own. Many thought that Hemingway\'s next theme would actually be fear.

Through out Hemingway\'s childhood he remained unhappy. He was only compatible on
the surface between his parents. His mother nudged him toward music, preferably
church music. His father put a fishing rod in his hand at the age of three and a
rifle at ten. In Hemingway\'s first novel In Our Time, shows of Hemingway\'s own
struggle with his parents through the eyes of Nick Adams. For example, in one of

Hemingway\'s short stories from In Our Time it reads: "Your mother wants you
to come and see her," the doctor said. "I want to go with you,"

Nick said. ". . . I know where there\'s black squirrels." "All
right," said his father. "Let\'s go there." These last lines from
the chapter, "The Doctor and the Doctor\'s wife" from, In Our Time,
show how Hemingway\'s struggling relationship with both parents was a struggle
for him to choose between his mother with music, or his father with fishing and
hunting. (Baker, p.29) In the novel of, In Our Time, Hemingway creates the
character of Nick Adams in order to depict himself. Nick\'s youth is wild and
free, just as Hemingway himself lived and led a life of a vagrant, coming face
to face with violence and evil on the road. Nick Adams spends his summers in

Michigan among the Indians, where he sees life in the raw. Just as Nick sees
life in the raw so to does Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway loving neither his family
nor school ran away twice from home. He led a life of a vagrant where he worked
on farms, washed dishes in restaurants, and hopped on freight trains. Nick who
is in fact the reflection of Hemingway witnesses a doctor-father perform a

Caesarian operation with a jack knife. Nick sees an Indian girl with brown legs,
flat belly, and hard little breasts, which initiates him sexually at a very
young age. Nick also cuts a freshly caught trout into pieces and uses the chunks
as bait to catch more trout. He is living in a savage world of sacrificed
animals. These are the years of apprenticeship for a boy who wants to be strong
yet has weaknesses, which is specifically an equivocal attitude toward his
father. Nick who is a portrayal of Hemingway is grateful to the doctor for the
rifle and hunting lessons, but he resents his father\'s weaknesses toward his
mother and his conventional ideas about sex. (Waldmeir, p.66) Hemingway in his
writing uses a particular hard style to tell hard stories. He depicts characters
in his stories such as bloodied prize fighters, hired killers, disemboweled bull
fighters, crippled soldiers, hunters of wild animals, and deep sea fisherman.

Hemingway portrayed his characters as heroes, but they all in someway dealt with
the perception of death. Hemingway himself said, "My favorite characters
are men who deal in death and accept its risks". To understand why

Hemingway wrote about death in his writings, one must try to understand how the
events in Hemingway\'s life formed this style and temperament, which gave birth
to this obsession of death. (Leff, p.54) Because Hemingway\'s relationship with
his parents was not good, it caused him to run away from home