Hemingway's signature style has been given the name "iceburg." With this style, the reader must discern meaning which is beneath the surface rather within the content of what has been written. For instance, his short story "Hills Like White Elephants" which is written almost entirely as dialogue between a man and a woman, requires readers to discern meaning by going beneath the surface of the conversation between the couple, interpreting the symbolism of the setting, and the nuances of meaning in certain words that the young man and woman use to converse with one another.
An example of common writing style for Hemingway would be his use of third person objective perspective. This perspective is difficult for writers, as it requires the author to step back from emotions and thoughts entirely, an unusual feat. Objective perspective focuses on actions, leaving interpretation of the characters' thoughts and feelings to the reader. This is Hemingway's way of revealing things in what is not said. He uses this technique in "Hills Like White Elephants," "The Sun Also Rises," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," and "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place."
Common themes in Hemingway's literature surround war, women and their natures, the affect of war on men, and the emasculation of men either by women or war.