Analysis Of Ernest Hemingway 's ' The Iceberg ' Essay

1304 Words Apr 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Legend has it Ernest Hemingway was eating dinner with his close friends and wagered them ten dollars apiece that he could write a complete short story on the tiny napkin 's surface. Hemingway proceeded to win the wager by scribbling down: “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn” (Wood). This story epitomizes a writing technique that Hemingway called The Iceberg Principle. “An iceberg floats in the Arctic with only one‐eighth of its mass above water while the greater, more potentially devastating portion hides beneath the surface and attracts our concern precisely because it is hidden,” he noted (Wood). The six words that Hemingway wrote on the napkin are the tip of the iceberg floating above the water, and they are carefully selected to allow the reader to infer the more potent, subsurface details. Since so little is revealed, the potential narratives are many. Perhaps the parents had excitedly bought shoes in anticipation of the birth, but the infant died and the parents are scrapping together money by selling its shoes. Hemingway makes the reader do all the work. In this critical reflection, I will examine how Hemingway uses the final scenes of his stories to enhance the effect of The Iceberg Principle on the reader. In the short story Indian Camp, a young kid named Nick watches his father perform an anesthetic-less C-Section and sees the corpse of the husband, who, having found his wife 's birth unbearable, killed himself. After Nick questions his father about the…

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