Essay On Iceberg Theory

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One way of looking at Hemingway’s (1932) “Iceberg Theory” is through Conversational Implicature Theory. This approach is part of the pragmatics approach applying to literature.
The application of pragmatics in literary analysis dates back to the 1970s. Although previous researchers like Morris (1938) had already proposed the connection between pragmatics and rhetoric, it was not until 1971 that Ohmann first touched the field by defining literature as a type of discourse. Later in 1976, Van Dijk first used the name “Literary Pragmatics”. In Pratt’s (1977) Toward a Speech Acts Theory of Literary Discourse, the author claimed that language in literary works is also analyzable by linguistics like other forms of language, and this theory was later
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By saying the hills look like white elephants, the girl tries to draw out another topic. “White elephant” in English is something expensive but useless or troublesome. At this moment, readers cannot know her intention, but considering their later conversations, the girl is implicating the baby:

By intentionally take the “elephant” as the animal, the man violates the Maxim of Relation. By saying words contradictory to each other, he also violates the Maxim of Quality. He stops the girl from talking about the baby, which receives a reply sounds irony to him. That is why his tone turns harsh.
The man’s provocative attitude forces the girl to change the topic. Before she tries a second time, they talk about a kind of Spanish alcohol, during which we can see that the girl does not know Spanish, and it can be further speculated that she relies on the man on this trip. Then their topic changes to licorice. Readers can say it for sure that the girl is talking with implicature:
The man’s answer violates the Maxim of Quality, since it is impossible that everything tastes like licorice. The girl also violates the Maxim of Quality. She knows the man’s words are not true, but still echoes with him. She emphasizes that all the things people have waited so long for taste like licorice, especially absinthe, but in fact absinthe tastes bitter with slightly
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