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Plymouth Marjon University
Hanoi University of Science and Technology
English Literature
Writing assignment 1
Student’s No (HUST): 20155903
Student’s No (UMJ): 20077667
Module code IPRH03 Module title ENGLISH LITERATURE
Student’s No (HUST) Student’s No
Assignment task Writing Assignment 1 Date submitted Marker 1 Nguyen Thi Thu Hong
Date marked Marker 2 Nguyen Thi Hai AnhDate marked Total mark awarded Content knowledge (70 points max)
Marking criteria Maximum mark Mark awarded
The work addresses all elements of the tasks set. 20 The work demonstrates the writers’ knowledge and understanding of the topic area. 15 The work shows the writers’ ability to analyze and interpret literary texts critically. 25 The work displays a clear logical argument, with points well -ordered and fully supported. 10 Language skills (30 points max)
Marking criteria Maximum mark Mark awarded
Coherence: Ability to organise knowledge and articulate arguments effectively. 10 Correct citation and referencing practice (APA 6th edition). 10 Quality of language: broad range of sentence structures and vocabulary used, academic writing style, polish use of English. 10 Total mark awarded Comments
Reflective essay
In this course, I have learnt a new subject named English Literature. This subject is not easy as I thought, it is complicated to understand and analysis the literary trends and works. Two weeks ago, my classmates and I had to present about one of the requiring topics in group. I was a member of three-member group and our topic is E. Hemingway- the writer of the iceberg principle. I was sure that through the presentation each group in general and individual in particular learnt and enriched amount of knowledge such as teamwork skill, finding information skill, using Powerpoint as well as knowledge about writers and their literary trend.

For us, presenting is familiar because each semester has at least one presentation. We have had some successes in the presentation in general: teamwork skill and information processing skill. We discussed together our presentation may include what main ideas. We agreed to divide our presentation into three main parts consisting of biography and literary works of E. Hemingway, the iceberg principle and the iceberg principle in “The old man and the sea”. Each member took responsibility for one part and found information from a variety of sources to support these main ideas. However, my group got some challenges in finding information and selecting points because of a huge amount of information, both right and wrong; hence, we need to choose carefully without shortage of point. Based on teacher’s significant feedbacks, we just picked these points demonstrating our topic. Next, we designed ideas for content’s and background’s slides; in my opinion, it was really attractive and made us more confident. In addition, my group completed the presentation on time.
In particular, I did not well in some other aspects, which led to my unprofessional part. They have been also my weaknesses which I would like to improve. The first and most important thing is pronunciation. I know the importance of pronunciation accuracy when learning English, especially primary importance for me who is major in English language. I realized that I sometimes did not pronounce ending sounds like “s” and confused with the word “literary” while speaking. Thus, I will spend more time to practice this skill to be better in the next time. The second one is contact with audience. Instead of using eye contact and hand gesture effectively, I focused on slides most of time; therefore, my presentation’s interaction was decreased. The last but not least is fluency during presenting. As a result of short information in slides, I need to explain more to understand easily and fully. And forgetting information was unavoidable, then I began to speak with a halt. Consequently, my part took many time in whole presentation but it was fortunate, my group finished the presentation on the allowed time.
I never think Literature is an easy subject, especially learning English Literature by English. Of course, I got some troubles with this module, I used to be confused when must analysis a literary work. Still, I enriched knowledge about the journalist and author E. Hemingway and the iceberg principle. Each century or maybe decade has different literary trends. For example, in the 19th century, there are two main literary trends formed: English Romanticism and English Critical Realism. Historical background, one of the most significant reasons, impacts on literary trend of writers; Ernest Hemingway is one of them. Nowadays, we cannot deny the influence of the writer on 20th century American Literature. His passion for writing begin when he was a young boy. Grown up in the period of war, participated both directly and indirectly in World War I, Spanish Civil War and World War II, almost Hemingway’s works revolve around the theme of war- one of three trends in Literature in that time. They described honestly the horrors and brutality of war that was showed clearly in The Sun Also Rises (1926) and A Farewell to Arms (1929).
It can be said that his writing-style is distinct from others. Simple words, simple sentences and short paragraphs are specific characteristics in stories, novels of Hemingway. For example:
“I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing, the old man said. They say his father was a fisherman. Maybe he was as poor as we are and would understand. The great Sisler’s father was never poor. And he, the father, was playing in the Big Leagues when he was my age. When I was your age I was before the mast on a square rigged ship that ran to Africa. And I have seen lions on the beaches in the evening.”
(E. Hemingway, 1952)
In this paragraph, simple nouns (old man, fisherman,…) and simple verbs (take, say, …) are used in short and simple sentences. It seems to be easy to access but not. That proves Hemingway’s writing-style follows “the iceberg principle”. He described daily actions simply through short dialogues using colloquial phrases. E. Hemingway said: “I always try to write on the iceberg principle. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that showed”. He avoided putting his emotion and thought into characters and omitted things just described the simplest ones which is surface meaning. To reach the deeper meaning, the readers must use their knowledge and experience to recreate the “gaps”, put themselves in the writer position as well as rely on situation to understand fully. His style was affected when working as a reporter for the Kansas City Star. Instead of ridiculous-flowery language, Hemingway learnt the minimalist in writing. Even though being simple words, simple sentences and short paragraphs, they remained full meaning. These are properties engraved on reporters’ mind.
With the literary work “The old man and the sea”, it is not difficult to see the surface meaning. After nearly three months offshore fishing, he came back with a skeleton. However, just two images: the old man Santiago and the sea hide many different implications. One of deeper meanings was revealed is the old man symbolizes human beings who never surrender failures in life and the sea represents the difficulties, harshness in life. Here, the writer would like to say that never give up even in any cases, there is no success without failure.
Reference list:
Kwon, B.W. (2015) Hemingway’s style and ‘iceberg principle’. Online Available from: accessed 09 October 2018.

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Headlee, A. (2015) The “Iceberg Theory” of Writing. Online Available from: accessed 09 October 2018.

Lorcher, T. (2012) Symbolism in The Old Man and the Sea. Online Available from: accessed 12 October 2018.
Ernest, H. (1952) The old man and the sea. New York: Simon & Schuster

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