The Killers Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

The Killers book cover
Start Your Free Trial

List some examples of where the "Iceberg theory" for Ernest Hemingway is used his story the "The Killers"

Expert Answers info

Philip Arrington eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write1,302 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

The "iceberg theory" as proposed by Ernest Hemingway is a minimalistic approach to fiction writing: not much takes place on the surface but what does happen is rich with underlying themes. Hemingway referred to this theory in chapter 16 of his nonfiction book on Spanish bullfighting called Death in the Afternoon:

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.

Hemingway further expounded on this subject in his essay "The Art of the Short Story':

A few things I have found to be true. If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless.

Hemingway's short story "The Killers " is an excellent example of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 857 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Concetta Roderick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write29 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,416 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial