The Iceberg Theory Summary

May 10, 2018 General Studies

This theory was created by Hemingway and was called The Iceberg Theory. According to Hemingway, the stories could be written through succinct words, distinct images, plentiful emotion and profound thought. In this theory, the writer omits items, facts or descriptions that are obvious or are already stated by symbols, images, metaphors, similes, or some other figures of speech leaving the reader to think, imaginer understand and create his own point of view.

The main features of this theory are succinct words and symbolism. Hemingway believed that writers should express the most complicated meanings with simple, clear and succinct words. They should describe scenery in an objective and real way that provide the writer omit another items. Hemingway always emphasizes the scenery and doesn’t introduce the protagonist directly.

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On the dimension of portraying the figure, He advocated that the writer didn’t have to talk too much about it and the figure should be explained by itself, by its words and acts. The symbolism was also part of Iceberg theory features, and an important part used moderately by Hemingway. According to Him, the reader has to feel the character’s emotion y simple and natural things. A perfect example of The Iceberg Theory is Hemingway short story “Hills like white Elephants” where the story is about an unwanted pregnancy.

Both of characters, the man and the girl, speak in short sentences and anyone talks directly about the pregnancy or abortion during the story. He used the white elephant as a symbol to love between the characters. In other words, The Iceberg Theory was Hemingway believes in his readers’ ability of comprehension and He had to create a new way to tell everything using less words as possible to show it, and motivate the readers.


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