The End of Something

by Ernest Hemingway

Start Free Trial

How does Hemingway apply the iceberg theory in "The End of Something"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Hemingway coined the term "iceberg theory" to contextualize his use of a writing style that emphasizes letting the deeper meaning of the text be inferred while the actually writing focuses on the surface of the storyline. In this writing style, metaphors are heavily used to refer to the deeper meaning of the text. The metaphors let the reader understand what the author is trying to reference without blatantly stating the deeper meaning. For instance, in The End of Something, Hemingway uses the metaphor of a mill and the mill town that has deteriorated over a 10 year period to speak to the deterioration of Nick's (this character also may be Hemingway referring to himself) relationship with Marjorie. Hemingway doesn't explicitly state that these meanings are present within the novel but there is plentiful metaphorical reference and dialogue that alludes to the deeper meaning of the deterioration of love, loss, and cycles of love and loss.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial