Theme: Why it all matters -- A mini-lesson

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THE THEME IS A LITERARY
WORK’S PRIMARY PURPOSE
In other words, a THEME is
a central idea in a work of literature.
It is the essence of a text…
THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION
In slightly simplified terms the theme is like the moral
of the story.
It’s the life-lesson the author wants us, the readers,
to learn
It’s the message or meaning behind the text.
BIGGER THAN ONE STORY
A theme doesn’t just apply to the characters in a story
or the subject of a poem.
Themes are relevant to the real world.
It’s more abstract than that; it’s an idea that can
apply to you, or me, or almost anyone.
Themes are often universal or at the very least
applicable to more than just one fictional world.
FOR
In the theme here isn’t just that Simba
should go home and rule.
INSTANCE
SO HOW DO WE FIND A THEME?
The theme and the subject of a story are not the
same thing. Subjects are often broad and able
to be stated in a single word, like “technology.”
Yet, we can often find a theme by first identifying
a subject.
The theme is the idea the author wishes to
express on that subject.
TOPICS
Examples:
Family
or
Technology
THEMES = AUTHOR’S OPINION
Examples:
The author clearly implies that family bonds are
stronger than the ties of friendship.
or
This story shows how technology may make
certain aspects of life simpler but ultimately it
interferes with our relationships and robs of us
of our humanity.
THEMES = OPINIONS
Themes are not objects (such as love or courage)
but ideas about those subjects.
Love ≠ Theme
While love can be glorious, it can also lead to ruin
and heartbreak. = A Theme
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