Iceberg Theory

An important component of this course is learning how to write evaluations and interpretations of literary works. Whether you are writing about short stories, poems, or plays, you must offer an opinion (an argument) about the literary work and you must back up that opinion with evidence (facts from the literary text). This essay should be 1,000-1,250 words in length, double-spaced, and typed with standard font size and margins. The essay will be evaluated based in part upon your use of a clear, arguable thesis sentence, the support of the thesis through textual evidence, and your ability to offer thoughtful analysis rather than plot summary. As always, your paper should be written in standard academic English, be substantially free of grammatical and mechanical errors, and should conform to the standards set out below. Below are some suggested themes for the fiction essay. Alternatively, you may develop your own topic, though you may use only texts we have read in this course. If you do so, make sure that you have the topic approved by your professor before you begin to write. Ernest Hemingway employed what he called “the iceberg theory” when he wrote “Hills Like White Elephants.” What is the iceberg theory and how is it employed here? (Think about setting in particular).

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