Nature is a constant presence in Hemingway’s works, especially short stories: it is a source of hope, inspiration and guidance during difficult periods and at the same time the ability to conquer nature by hunting and killing animals is the test of masculinity. Anyway, as The Old Man and the Sea demonstrates, man does not actually fight against nature, on the contrary he fights to find his place within nature. Both Santiago and the marlin display qualities of pride, honour, and bravery, and both are subject to the same eternal law: they must kill or be killed.
Death is another constant presence either in the form of death itself or in the knowledge of the inevitability of death. It is often caused by suicide. This ambiguous fascination with death can be fought only defying it with acts of physical courage: hunting animals, climbing mountains, facing it in war
The Hemingway Hero is defined by a static set of characteristics:
he’s is always courageous, confident, and introspective, he does not let his fears get to him.
He also has his own code:
•the principal ideals are honor, courage, and endurance in a life of stress, misfortune, and pain.
•The "code" dictates that the hero act honorably in the midst of what will be a losing battle. In doing so he becomes a man or proves his manhood and his worth.
•Hemingway defined the Code Hero as "a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful."In the end the Hero will lose because we are all mortal, but the true measure of value is given by how a person faces death. So he courts death, in the bull ring, on the battlefield, against big fish, because facing death teaches us how to live. Behind the formulation of this concept of the hero lies the basic disillusionment brought about by the First World War. The sensitive man came to the realization that the old concepts and the old values embedded in Christianity and other ethical systems of the western world had not served to save mankind from the catastrophe inherent in the World War.
•His style is simple, direct, and unadorned, probably as a result of his early newspaper training.
•Hemingway has often been described as a master of dialogue: the main feature of his dialogues are emphasis and repetition, which makes us remember what has been said. In an interview published in 1963 Hemingway voiced his opinion on what a writer’s style should be: he said that a writer's style should be direct and personal. His imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous. The greatest writers have the gift of brilliant brevity, are hard workers, diligent scholars and competent stylists.