Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

Hills Like White Elephants

What is the couple arguing about? how does the iceberg technique affect the way that you view the couple andd the story?

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The "iceberg theory" is a stylistic way for readers to interpret Hemingway's text. Many readers do not understand the context of the couple's discussion at the train station. Hemmingway strips his narrative to the bare essentials. The main conflict is subtly implied rather than dealt with in the open. The metaphorical tip of the iceberg hides the substance underneath. In this case the couple's argument revolves around the woman getting an abortion. If we examine the narrative closer we see the fissures in their relationship and the man's sexist, even misogynist, attitude.